A Man’s Gift of Life (English Version)

An interview done with Pride and Honor:

I was so happy when I read the news last night. And it made me even more happier to see that this person I know did not disappoint me.  Once again he gave me a reason to be so proud of him.  So it was for this reason I called him immediately to set up an exclusive special interview. The next morning I hit the road on the way to Gaziveren village 

Sonuc Ozcetiner

My journey to Gaziveren Village began at early hours the next morning with much excitement.  I arrived to the village accompanied by a slight drizzle of rain.  And there I was standing in front of Gaziveren Elementary School right alongside Sonuç Özçetiner who was waiting for me. We had some small talk while sipping on delicious coffee offered by his sister Nadir who happens to be the Principal of the school.  I had one goal; to clarify any doubts or potential question marks that may arise in people’s heads regarding the news I read about Sonuç and to inform you who Sonuç Özçetiner is.  

First, let’s take a look at the news about Sonuç.

He wants to hear from that little girl!

BRTK Decorator Specialist Sonuç Özçetiner is trying to reach the girl in Italy. He donated bone marrow to 2 years ago.  In order to have his voice heard he has prepared a video with Cemal Yildirim asking  to know if the little girl was able to survive and go on with her life.   The Italian girl was only 2 years old at the time she had the bone marrow transplant. If the girl is alive, Sonuç would like to meet her family as well.

A little bit about Sonuç; He was born on September 8th, 1964 in Gaziveren Village into a family of 8 children of which 3 were boys and 5 were girls. He was the 4th child of Cemaliye (mother) and Aziz (father). His father was a fine quilter.   He lost his father at young age of 11 just before he was about to graduate from Gaziveren Elementary School. His father was a martyr who lost his life fighting as a volunteer freedom fighter. 

Once Sonuç completed elementary school, he started working by taking care of the animals his family had owned.  Later on, he worked in a variety of private sector jobs and finally began working at Bayrak Radio/TV Corporation in the year 1998. He is married and has one daughter.  He is currently living in Gaziveren Village with his family leading a humble life. Sonuç is a kind-hearted, emotional person who loves to share and help others whenever possible.

He and his sister gave blood samples in the year 2002 during the Kemal Saraçoğlu Campaign. Unfortunately, we lost Kemal.  However, a phone call he received in the year 2015 initiated a new era in his life.

And the story begins.

In 2015, I received a phone call from Kemal Saraçoğlu Children’s Leukemia & Cancer Research Foundation (Kemal Saraçoğlu Lösemili Çocuklar Ve Kanserle Savaş Vakfı). They were asking, ¨You are a match for a bone marrow transplant  for a 2-years old Italian girl.  Would you like to proceed  with the donation?¨   I told them I was ¨ready to donate right away¨ even if it meant  I would  die during the operation there is nothing to do, that´s fate, but there is nothing more beautiful and fulfilling than giving life to a person who needs it.  So after talking with my family and getting their approval as well, I went ahead with it.  On September 20th, 2015, all the necessary tests took place at the South Nicosia Makaryos Hospital (Güney Lefkoşa’da Makaryos Hastahanesi)  and  my marrow was taken and submitted for this little girl.  Me and my family are very happy and  at peace for having done this.   I feel as though I have a second daughter somewhere out there.  Someone I never saw and never met  but also someone who will always be a part of me, living inside of me where I will always wonder if she is alive and living well. I wonder about her and her family all the time.  And my family shares the same feelings with me.  People who doesn´t understand the emotions that I am going through and the longing that I live with may think I have other intentions, and this is of course natural, I am certainly not judging them.  But I want them to try to understand me.  

I am not interested in wealth, nor in fame.  My values consist of being a good human being first.   I am only after human values and human emotions.   Thank God both my wife and I are working .  We don´t have any issues and our family  ties are pretty good too. 

I only have one concern.  This longing and curiosity inside me …!

I understand and sympathize with my good friend Sonuç Özçetiner´ situation very well.  However, it is also our duty and obligation to inform the public in an objective and impartial manner. With this in mind, I also spoke with an authorized representative of Kemal Saraçoğlu Children’s Leukemia & Cancer Research Foundation (Kemal Saraçoğlu Lösemili Çocuklar Ve Kanserle Savaş Vakfı) regarding this matter.  The information I have collected and would like to share is of great importance.

On the basis of international rules, these type of situations are generally voluntary.

Patient and donor safety is a top priority. It’s why there are rules and guidelines in place to protect the rights and privacy of donors and patients. Most of the time, it is required to have a system to keep patient and donor information confidential. The donor and the patient is not to meet. Donor is not informed the nationality of the patient and vice versa. As per the rights of the donor, information is provided in terms of the sex of patient and in which country the patient has been receiving treatment. Furthermore, once the bone marrow transplant is completed, donor is to be given information in terms of the health status of the patient as a result of the transplant. As per the rules, donor is entitled to write a letter to the patient (or the parents) on a one-time basis.

Rules and regulations is a separate subject.

It is within these rules and regulations that I would like to give the following message to my readers and my friend Sonuç Özçetiner:

In the year 2016, a letter was written by Sonuç Özçetiner to the family of the child requesting information about the current status.  The subject letter was sent to the family by of Kemal Saraçoğlu Children’s Leukemia & Cancer Research Foundation (Kemal Saraçoğlu Lösemili Çocuklar Ve Kanserle Savaş Vakfı).  However, no reply was received.

As per the information I received from the Foundation, the child is very well and continues to live a healthy life. I hope that she always has a long healthy and happy life.  And I have no doubt that my friend Sonuç has the same wishes for her as well.

Nevertheless, we have a saying, “GÖNÜL FERMAN DİNLEMEZ” which means even if the forbidden command comes from the highest place, the heart will not give up on anyone who it loves. Another words,  “love cannot be prevented by command” So this is exactly where we are at right now.  I am at a very emotional state at the moment and I don´t want to continue writing with emotions. Although it is very difficult to continue right now, I will finish this article.

What an amazingfamily. Full of beautiful people.  They are sincere, kind-hearted and immaculate.. spotless, pure and clean as fresh snow on a far-off mountain.   

Life, oh life. Life that harbors us in what we call coincidence and unique …

I had no doubt anyway. Nevertheless this story has touched me so much. It has made me believe with all my heart and soul..

How interesting is it that in 2002, a brother and a sister who gave blood samples for the late Kemal Saraçoğlu gets a bone marrow transplant call for two separate children so many years later in 2015.. each receiving the phone call a week apart from each other.

Is it a coincidence?

Sonuç´s sister Nadir is not able to proceed with the transplant and Sonuç gives the gift of life.

Here is his longing, emotions and his last words..

“ Let me see her once. Before I die. At least a photograph and I will go peacefully when the time comes¨

Life is short. The world is big. But the world is small with all the technology we have. 

It is not known when, where and who we may encounter with. Who knows, maybe one day my brother, patience, have patience!

Cemal Dermuş – Voice of the Island 2017

Çeviri: Duygu Canaş






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