Chris Young gives Amazin' Call to Floral Park woman
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Sawh, from Floral Park, has a genetically inherited blood disorder that she was diagnosed with at birth. She is dependent on transfusions of red blood cells in order to live.
As part of Amazin' Calls, a program that connects Mets players personally with the community, Young spoke with Sawh on the phone for 15 minutes Friday and she went with her family to Saturday night's game. She met Young before the game and he signed autographs for the family.
"It was very exciting to meet a professional baseball player," Sawh said. "He's exactly who I thought he would be. He's very humble and sweet. It was an amazing opportunity and I am glad I got it."
Said Young: "I did one last year and it was really touching to hear someone's voice on the phone that has been an inspiration to a lot of other people and raising awareness to blood donating and the importance of it. She was thrilled to come to the ballpark. For her to come out and support the Mets with her family, it's great to see the smiles on her face."
Sawh currently receives two units of blood every two weeks and will need to do so for the rest of her life. She estimates she has received more than 1,200 units of blood in her lifetime.
Sawh said it doesn't impact her everyday life in a major way except that as she gets closer to needing blood, she gets tired and experiences headaches and shortness of breath. Sawh is married and has an 8-year-old daughter, Seema.
"The great part of being a major-league baseball player is we have a platform to raise awareness and improve the lives of others," Young said. "If we can make the most of that and make other people's lives better in some way, shape or form, we have really found our call of duty. I told her she's an inspiration to a lot of people."
Sawh said there isn't really a cure for the disease except for a bone-marrow transplant. She doesn't have a perfectly matched candidate, and at 37, she's "too old" to get one.
"I don't feel like I am anyone special," Sawh said. "I am just someone who has an illness. There are people out there with lots of different problems. It's a little overwhelming to meet someone you see on TV and shake his hand while all these kids are trying to get his attention. It's a very special day. I feel real humbled."