Shining moments: A deeper meaning

Volunteers can really make a difference in the lives of others, but for 15-year-old twins Scott and Stuart Shellenberger, the term "voluntarism" took on a deeper meaning last year.

Stuart truly gave of himself when he became a volunteer bone marrow donor for Scott, who had A-plastic anemia, a disease that destroys bone marrow. Stuart was the ideal volunteer because the two are identical twins, which makes the chances of success excellent."We told Stuart from the first that he didn't have to be the donor, but there was no question in his mind when he found out his bone marrow matched Scott's," said Roberta Shellenberger, the mother of the two young men.

And it may have been a special Scouting service project that set the tone for what happened. Scott and Stuart - teachers in the Globe 2nd Ward, Globe Arizona Stake - spearheaded a blood drive in the area just three months before finding out that Scott had the disease. The two gave out information about organ donations and transplants to earn their donor awareness merit badge.

After Scott's transplant, Stuart told the doctors he would volunteer to donate bone marrow again if he matched someone else in need.

Both young men recovered well from the transplant. Through it all they have kept their faith in the Lord. One of the first places Scott wanted to go after recuperating was to Church, even though he had no hair and had to wear a mask.

The two young men haven't lost sight of a goal to become Eagle Scouts. Both have continued to work on their Scout badges, with only about three more merit badges to go before they become Eagles. In their bedroom is a sign that says they will become Eagle Scouts by the time they are 16 and it looks like they won't have a problem reaching that goal.

The experience brought the two brothers even closer, Sister Shellenberger said. Scott was touched that Stuart volunteered so readily. "He was really his only hope - to have such an easy match so available. Scott was really grateful to his brother for doing that," the mother added.

In fact, the entire family has grown closer, Sister Shellenberger noted. "We've always been close, but this has drawn us closer and has taught us to appreciate the time we have together because life is so precious." - Sheridan R. Sheffield

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