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Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford

Hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering

from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared

to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had

miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies 

needed to combat the illness. 

The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the

boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him

hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying,

"Yes, I'll do it if it will save Liz."

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and

smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then

his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and

asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?" Being

young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to

have to give his sister all of his blood. 

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