One donor, two donations

Posted September 7th, 2011 by Be The Match and filed in Donor Stories
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Mark experienced both donation methods: marrow and peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC)When Mark attended a college baseball game in spring 2009, he never imagined his relaxing afternoon would lead to a life-altering experience for him as well as for someone he’s never met. 19 months later Mark was called as a match and went on to donate without giving it a second thought. It was only when he received a letter of thanks from his recipient that he fully felt the meaning of what he’d done.

“I’m not ashamed to say that I sat at my desk and cried happy tears,” he said. After learning his recipient needed a second transplant, he agreed to donate again.

Mark’s story in his own words

In spring of 2009, when I attended a college baseball game at Pepperdine University, I never imagined an afternoon at the stadium would lead to a life-altering experience for me as well as for someone I’ve never met.

Be The Match Registry® had set up a kiosk to register potential donors at the stadium. I filled out the paperwork and gave a blood sample with a small prick of my fingertip. It only took about 10 minutes, and I went on to watch the game without really giving much thought to what I’d done. (Editor’s note: Today most people give a cheek swab sample rather than a blood sample when they join the Be The Match Registry.)

About 19 months later, I received a letter telling me I was a potential match for a patient. The letter asked me to call and let them know if I was still interested in being a donor. More curious than anything, I called the donor contact representative, Maria, who explained to me that I was indeed a match for a young mother with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Maria asked if I was willing to undergo further screening, and I agreed without giving it a second thought.

The first donation – PBSC

Over the next few months, I learned that the donation method the patient’s doctor had requested was peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation. For five days before the donation, I received shots of filgrastim to move the PBSC cells out of my marrow and into my bloodstream. With the exception of some minor discomfort for a few days caused by the filgrastim, I can say that I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the entire donation process actually was. Essentially, I lay in bed with IV’s in both arms and watched movies for two days and that was it. In the back of my mind, I kept asking myself how something so easy could potentially save someone’s life.

A thank you

A month later, I received an anonymous letter from my recipient. She was very gracious and thankful for my donation and wanted to let me know that the doctors had told her everything looked positive for her future. She said she was especially grateful because she was the single mother of a young daughter.

I can honestly say that it wasn’t until I read her letter that I fully realized the magnitude of what my donation had done for someone I had never met. I’m not ashamed to say that I sat at my desk and cried happy tears. Throughout the entire process, I knew what it was I was doing by agreeing to donate, but I never really “got” the impact of potentially saving someone’s life until I read that letter. I wrote back to tell her how pleased I was that she was doing so well.

But less than 24 hours later, I received a phone call from Maria, the donor contact representative. She informed me that in fact things had not worked out well. It turned out that the donated cells had not engrafted (begun to grow and multiply in the recipient’s body). She asked if I would consider donating again, this time giving a marrow donation. Like many people, I had some misconceptions about the marrow donation process and I remember thinking that I wasn’t sure this was something I wanted to go through. However, I listened carefully to Maria’s explanation of the donation process and of the patient’s need to receive a second transplant as soon as possible.

The second donation – marrow

I agreed to go forward. I went through more screening and learned more about the marrow donation process. The doctor explained that I would be under general anesthesia for about three hours while two doctors inserted needles into my hips to extract the bone marrow, and then would stay overnight in the hospital for observation. Admittedly, I had some serious reservations about it, but in the end all I could think about was this woman whom I had never met going through something infinitely more difficult. I chose to focus not on the minimal impact the donation process would have on my life, but rather on the positive impact it could have on hers.

A few weeks later, I again entered the hospital. I was much more nervous this time around. I was placed under anesthesia and awoke with soreness on both sides of my lower back from the needle insertions. I was very groggy when I woke up and I remember thinking later on that what I had done felt much more serious and thus it was easier to connect it with the prospect of actually saving someone’s life.

When I was released from the hospital, I was placed on iron and B12 supplements for about a month and was told to take things easy for a few days. I did feel a bit run down for approximately two weeks, but both the limited soreness and tired feelings quickly went away and I felt completely normal after three weeks.

I just kept hoping that I didn’t go through all of this for no reason and waited anxiously for an update from my recipient.

Another letter

After another month, I received the best news ever. In another anonymous letter, the recipient told me that the procedure had worked this time and the bone marrow had indeed engrafted. Her doctors were working on her release from the hospital and were optimistic that she would be okay. Again I cried happy tears.

I truly hope that my recipient continues to do well and that I get to meet her at some point in the future. Although I have a great sense of intrinsic pride for what I have done, I can’t imagine what it would feel like to see and meet such a courageous young woman. I can say that the entire process was well worth it and that I would strongly encourage anyone to consider joining the Be The Match Registry, so they, too, could have the potential to become a donor and a true life-saver.

85 Responses to “One donor, two donations”

  1. Adrienne says:

    This story is amazingly touching and the exact reason I signed up for this 2 years ago. I hope that my marrow matches with someone so that I can have this same experience. Thank you for sharing!!!!

  2. Mark Donnelly says:

    Congratulations. A real hero in every sense of the word. To give of one’s self to help another is what we should all be about. Besides, anyone that goes to ball games is a good person in my book anyway.

  3. Esther says:

    What you did was truly amazing and selfless; and I hope it encourages others to join the Be The Match Registry to save lives. Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. Stephanie says:

    Same reason for me also why I joined 2 years ago. I want to feel the same joy and good feeling inside that I literally saved someone’s life. I just hope one day I can match someone and bring joy to them and their family. Until then I donate blood and platelets to help others for now.

  5. Bernard says:

    Great story. I hope you get to meet the young lady one day.

  6. Ally says:

    What a great, inspiring story! I donated my pbsc’s back in February and am eagerly awaiting any contact with my patient! It’s very relieving to hear that things worked out for your patient Mark, and gives me immense hope that things will work out the same way for mine. Thank you for sharing your story! 🙂

  7. Yang says:

    It has been 10 years and no one ever calls me. 🙁 Now I am feeling jealous! 🙂

    Thank you for sharing. This really reminded me why I joined at first place.

    • Lisa says:

      Yang, me too, but it’s almost 15 years since I joined, before the website days….however, I cannot wait until I am called. What a wonderful story!!

      • Tina says:

        I have been on the list for 16 years and got a called about a year ago.But then they call back and said that it was not going to happen at the time?They have not called back(so sad).

        • Dee says:

          I’ve been on the list for about 25 yrs. and still have not been called. I’m fast approaching the age where I will be taken off the list. Can’t help but feel sorry that I wasn’t a match for anyone. There are so many people out there needing a marrow transplant. Hard to believe that “someone” wouldn’t be a match.

          • Debbie Marsh says:

            I had been on the registry a year, was called to get more typing but wasn’t a match, then got called again 20 years later and was a match. I just heard that at 2 months out, my guy is still alive and the cells have engrafted. Even if you are never called, it is being willing that counts. We are all in this together. Thanks to everyone for being on the marrow registry!

    • Michelle says:

      about 10 years here too … not called 🙁 Hoping one day I could have the chance to possibly save someone’s life!

    • Oralia says:

      Yang, don’t be discouraged. I registered 14 years ago and was contacted this past June. After all the screenings, I was found to be “the match” for a 2 year old little girl with Leukemia and I donated bone marrow this month!!!! I feel great and the pain was minimal. I am anxiously awaiting to hear from my recipient’s parents that their baby is in remission!!

      P.S. Make sure to have your contact information up-to-date so that if you are a match you too can give LIFE!

  8. Susan Morris says:

    I cried happy tears when reading your story. Thanks so much for sharing. I have been on the registry for many years and have not been called but reading stories like yours keeps me hopeful that someday before I am too old to donate, I can help someone, too.

  9. Steve Bunten says:

    Thanks for the story giving some insight into the procedure. My wife received bone marrow from an unknown donor back 3 1/2 years ago (it was marrow and not PBSC). She did engraft and all looked good but her AML came back about eight months later and was not able to beat it. But I am still grateful to that donor who went through the uncomfortable process.

    I too have been in the register now for over a decade–my wife had gotten me to do so–but have yet to be called. It had better happen soon if it’s going to happen–only have 2+ years left!

  10. Bill Ross says:

    If he had not stepped up, chances are that no one else eligible would have done so, and that person’s life would have come to a swift and sad end. Instead, two people have joy that kindles joy and hope to all even merely hear about it! I so hope one day I can “Be the Match” for someone, just as I would hope that someone would be the match if I ever needed one.

  11. John Kinder says:

    Dear Mark,

    Thanks for stepping up to the “batter’s box of life” and hitting back to back home runs. You are a hero in my book.

    John

  12. Stasia says:

    As a Stem Cell Transplant nurse, I witness every day the gift that you and other donors have given to critically ill patients and their families. You are their last hope for survival. Thank you to all those donors and all those (like me, too!) waiting on the list to be called on. Thank you for sharing your story.

  13. Pam says:

    I’ve been on the registry for two years now and look forward to being called on to donate. A very close friend, who recently received a diagnosis of leukemia has just been told that they’ve found three perfect matches for her! That’s because of people like you, Mark.

    Thank you for your selflessness!

    Pam

  14. Ajay M Desai says:

    Mark,

    Thank you for the story. Few years back I came very close but did not get lucky to donate. You are a True Hero!

    Ajay

  15. Cindy says:

    Mark, your story is wonderful!! I also had the privilege of matching a person and donating through PBSC donation. I had the shots for five days….they made it so convenient for me. I had no discomfort. I went to the hospital early in the morning. They got enough cells from me in one day that I didn’t have to go back the 2nd day. It truly was a great feeling to know that this could make a difference. My recipient did graft. Unfortunately, other complications eventually took his life. But I believe that the donation probably extended his life. I look forward to being called again someday.

  16. Mike Patterson says:

    I was matched to a young lady half the country away and had a similar experience. I can say it was life altering and was happy to do it again when called a second time for another patient. I had even less problem and did it as an outpatient and had almost no discomfort at all afterwords. I went about my regular routine later that day. Easy, satisfying, life altering! I would do it again if called…in a second.

    Mike

  17. Elaine Migdal says:

    A wonderful story, and so great that you were there for her twice. I hope your recipient is living a strong and healthy life. I’m there, should I ever be a match.

  18. Avon says:

    I didn’t get called after joining the Registry 25 years ago in a drive sponsored by the family of a sick boy. And, because his ethnic group was very different from mine, I didn’t expect to match – my only surprise is that the people at the drive were so happy to enroll me anyway.

    Now that I have an old friend who’s receiving transplant cells, I’m keenly aware that the planet needs many more donors to make the matches. I too can be a tad jealous of those who’ve been called to donate – and I too can feel impatient, as I’ll become ineligible at 60. Meanwhile, though, I can donate blood platelets almost weekly. They are especially needed by chemotherapy and other patients. I ask myself, isn’t that every bit as important from their viewpoint? And I may still end up doing both.

    If we all did whatever we can, so much good could result!

    • Ann says:

      Avon – Like yourself, I’ve been registered for 25 years; I’ve yet to be called for marrow donation; and I give platelets as often as I can. I recently relocated to Atlanta, GA and I’m still trying to find a platelet donation center. If called to give marrow, I’m ready!

      Congratulations to you, Mark for stepping up to the plate!

      • Mina says:

        Here is the main Red Cross location in Atlanta
        American Red Cross
        redcrossatlanta.org(404) 575-3730 – 1955 Monroe Dr Ne, Atlanta, GA

  19. Skip McGaha says:

    It is exactly stories like yours that make us all think we can make a difference at the end of the day. I hope I am lucky enough to be called. God bless you!

  20. Diane says:

    As the mother of a transplant recipient I can tell you how extremely grateful I am to the person who donated to my daughter. It is an amazing feeling to know there is somebody out there who you’ve never met that is willing to do something this special to save someone you love. My daughter and I cannot thank you enough for your generosity. Donors truly are heros.

  21. Kathryn says:

    Im so grateful to read stories like yours!Hearing about personal experiences like yours make futurate donors feel the joy and honor that you felt as a donaor.

    I was emailed once and made the call, but after giving all the info, I never heard from them again. It was a thrill to actually think I could have saved someone’s life! I know that I still could be called, but at 57, my years of being able to donate are getting smaller and smaller. I hope to help with the sign-up phase of donation once I’ve gotten “too old” to actually donate!

  22. Sheryl says:

    Mark, you are a true hero in every sense of the word. Gob bless you! I’ve been on the registry since 1996, came up as a potential match, but unfortunately it never panned out. I certainly do hope that I get that call again sooner rather than later though, since I’m not getting any younger.

  23. Linda says:

    What a heart warming story. This is exactly why I signed up to be a donor. I hope that I’ll be called upon to help someone one day so that I can exit this world knowing I did something worthwhile to help another person in my short time on this planet. I wish everyone would get on the donor list so that it would be easier for those who are sick to get the help that they need, fast.

  24. Rosa says:

    Just like Kathryn I’m 57yo and received notification that I was a match. After going through the medical questions, I never heard again. It was very disappointing to be treated this way. Clearly, they didn’t understand what a potential donor experiences emotionally when they think they can save someones life. If in fact I was disqualified at that point I would have liked a letter to explain the situation. Thanks for sharing the story of success.

    • Mary says:

      I have also been on the list for over 26 years and finally got the call last spring and went through more testing. I was waiting until the doctor thought the patient was ready but she did not make it. Unlike you I was kept informed the whole time and cried when I got the letter saying the patient had died before we could go forward. Maybe over the years enough people let the registry know that they want to know why they weren’t called back. I’m not sure how long ago your experience took place but mine was very recent so I am sure they are, as always, moving forward.

      Mary

  25. Eva says:

    Thank You for giving not once but twice to the same person. I joined the registry back in the mid – nineties when they use to take vials of blood. It is good to know that they have made the procedure as simple as a cheek swab now. It has to be so much easier to talk people into a cheek swab. Stories like yours are what keeps people on the list. Thank you for sharing.

  26. Shirley says:

    God Bless you. This is one of the reasons I enrolled as well. It has been 11 years and I can’t wait until I get a call and have a chance to help someone else.

  27. lori says:

    Thank you, thank you for the story!! Thank you to Mark for being a donor! You saved someone’s mother, someone’s true love someone’s daughter!! Thank you to all the donors on our registry, whether you have donated or not. We are ready to save the next in need!

  28. Sonja says:

    I, too, have donated twice to the same patient. The first time was a marrow harvest in 2002. In 2003 I underwent PBSC aphresis which provided her with two more stem cell transplants. She died in 2010 but I was able to give her nine years with her family. We never met, but kept in touch. I’d donate again in a heartbeat. The entire transplant process is the reason I became a nurse.

  29. AB says:

    What an awesome story and what a blessing for that young woman and her daughter! My dad received a solid organ transplant 5 years ago; it saved his life and truly enhanced his quality of life more than we ever imagined! It has been 5 years now and I am so incredibly thankful to his donor– his selflessness was amazing and I cannot express how very thankful my whole family is! My dad has blessed us every day and it is wonderful to see him able to function again and enjoy life. He also had the opportunity to meet his first grandson, whom he adores. Thanks to donors everywhere, you have no idea what a positive difference you make in not just one, but many lives!

  30. Kelly says:

    May God bless you!

  31. Michelle Shields says:

    May God Bless You! This story gives me hope! I have been on the donor regestery for a long time and have never been called to donate, I was about to take my name off the regestery because I felt like i’m not needed because their are enough of my kind of blood to go around. This gives me hope That I may to may be needed though I may still take my name off I wll give it some deep prayer and couninue to incourage my friends to be donors.

  32. Frank says:

    Hi Mark, you are special for another reason. Your recipient replied anonymously back to you. Thats great but you saved her lfe. I think respectfully she should have given you her name and address too. So you are a real special person to do what you did, all without ever hearing the name of the person you saved. For what you did, there is a special place in heaven (or the place of your choice!) for you!

  33. Rich Rogers says:

    Hopefully I will be called. That is exactly why I signed up to be a donor. I have only about 1 1/2 years left to be elgible.

  34. Mark Francis says:

    hi Frank. Thsank so much for your comments. Just to clarify, the patient and donor are not permitted to meet, speak etc., until 1 calendar year goes by. I’m sure this is to ensure that the procedure has indeed worked over time. I certainly look forward to this day!

    Kind Regards,

    Mark

  35. Mike P says:

    Thanks for sharing, it’s nice to hear a personal story from someone who has experienced both donation types. I have been on the registry for 6 years, I got called and was supposed to donate PBSC’s for the first time in the middle of October, but now the patient is not ready so it is postponed for possibly a month more, they’ll call me the end of October.

  36. Kevin Dehanke says:

    I have been on the marrow registry for over 20 years and I would not hesitate for one second to help someone out in any way possible. Stories like this make me so proud of the whole registry and what it does for all these people.

  37. Jeanne says:

    I was called to be a donor and did so last June. I donated PBSC’s over a two day period but have not heard whether they helped this person or not. I hope they did and will ask when I get my six month check-up call. If they need more I will do it again in a heartbeat.

    There were two things that surprised me when I received notice that I was a match. I had no idea that being a match to someone unknown puts you in a small percentage of people. I had people tell me that they had been on the registry for years and had never been called. The other reaction I had was, “wasn’t I concerned for my own health” or “you are a hero for doing this.” Statements like this made me very uncomfortable. My answer for the first was “why would I give a second thought to saving someone’s life if I were able?” The other was that I was no hero but that God had made me feel very blessed by allowing me to be a donor.”

    I try to encourage people to sign up whenever I get the chance as it is well worth it.

  38. Susan says:

    I was on the registry for 10 years before I was a match for someone. I too did the PBSC donation for two days at the City of Hope. While sitting in the bed donating for those two sessions I was thinking to myself “how lucky am I to be here voluntarily and not because I have to be”.
    I wish everyone would get on the registry, the process is really simple to have such a big impact on someone’s life.

  39. Cziese says:

    I thank everyone who is a donor. I am now a donor after my son going through the process of needing a donor. Everyone touch our lives that has helped us or someone else. My son has been 10 months clean of cancer, Hodgkins Lymphoma, and cant thank our donor enough for his selfless actions and caring. It is nice to see that others send a note or letter to let the donor know how the patient is doing, and that the donor indeed likes it and needs the letter as well. I do send notes letting the donor know how my son is doing and how my we appreciate his help and courage, not only to him but his family too! God Bless everyone, and thank you all!
    Cindy

  40. Lisa says:

    Mark – What an uplifting story! I joined the registry over 20 years ago and have yet to be called but I am hopeful I will have the opportunity in the next 17 years before I age out. Thanks for what you did and the warm fuzzy that I felt knowing that you made such a difference – I hope someday I might be able to give the gift of life as well!

    Lisa

  41. Maria says:

    I received an email about a month ago that I may be a match for someone. After reading your story, I have no doubts that I made the right decision when I decided to go forward. It is the purest gift you can give anyone and even if you experience a little discomfort, it’s all worth it if you can give someone a shot at life. I hope that I am able to give that amazing gift just as you did.

  42. Melanie Roberts says:

    I have been on the Bone Marrow registry since 1992. Back then they took several vails of blood to complete my profile.
    I have always wondered why I have not been called to give. It is probably because I am so common or so rare that I am just not needed. Today most humans are a mixture of so many.

    I am German, French, Native American, Swedish, African American and Irish. I am ready to give when needed to save lives!!!!

  43. Dan Spaulding says:

    After donating a kidney to a complete stranger several years ago, I was wondering what else I could do to help others. That is why I put my name on the list to donate bone morrow. Wished they didn’t put an age limit on it since I am already 60 years old now. But I guess they need a body young enough to produce “good” cells. I sort of feel sorry for those who have waited 10-15-20 years to donate or be called. But you can still donate blood platelets, a kidney or even let your hair grow out to give to “LocksforLove.com” (cancer patients) like I am doing.

    • rusty dove says:

      Dear Dan,
      Please consider that some of the organizations to which one might donate hair charge patients for their wigs, while some do not. Please check out the Pantene site. And PLEASE enjoy the vid from Londonderry NH. My daughter,of whom I am very proud, did the research before donating her own hair and clued me in. Thank you for your donations, all of them.
      Peace, dove

      • Jemelyn says:

        Michael Vassar: Can you explain this more? What do you think exilpans these random choices in the first place? Are people acting locally without thinking globally? Why might this be? Do they perhaps know more about the randomly chosen organizations than about others they did not choose? Do they have a special affinity for the cause they support, because of a random life experience, perhaps? You’ve made quite a strong statement that the way people choose causes to support is a severe cultural problem but I’m not sure I follow your logic here. Could you explain, perhaps from a high level?

  44. Patricia says:

    I entered to the registry in 2002 and I was called to donate PBSC but it was not possible because I was in Mexico less than two years before, I donated the cord blood of my baby in 2009 and here I am, waiting for that call.

  45. Maria says:

    After I’d been on the registry for about 10 years and hadn’t been called, I started looking around for what else I could do. I’ve gotten several friends and family members to sign up for the registry, to widen the pool of potential donors, and for the last 4 years, I’ve been donating platelets at the Red Cross. If you haven’t been called, don’t give up! Give blood, give platelets, volunteer at your local Red Cross or a blood drive, donate to Be The Match or put them in your will, and encourage others to consider what they can do. Above all, please don’t be bitter about not being called – count your blessings, treasure your good health, and know that you’ve done the right thing.

  46. Jennifer Mondragon says:

    This is a great story! I’m so happy your recipient is doing so well. I donated marrow in 2008. I had been on the registry for eleven years before a got the phone call. I had just lost my husband to cancer a few months earlier so I did not hesitate. A little over a year after my donation, I was contacted by the mother of the 17 year old girl that I donated to. Her story did not turn out so well. Although the transplant was a success and the bone marrow did graft, the chemotherapy that she received prior to the transplant affected her liver and she died about a month later. It was heart breaking to learn about her fate, but at the same time I was able to learn about what an amazing and beautiful young girl she was and it felt good to have her parents tell me how much they appreciated what I did for her. It still gave them a little more time with her that they other wise would not have had. I’d do it again in a heart beat!

  47. Francine Thomas says:

    What a awesome story!!! I had been in the registry for 17 yrs now and am waiting to help save someones life like you did. Great HEART <3

  48. Sheila Marini says:

    I would give in a heartbeat! My nephew was diagnosed in 2001 with leukemia and is doing well now. We did not need marrow for him, thank God!

  49. Joe Hourigan says:

    Jesus laid down his life for us, so that we could have the chance at eternal life. You laid down (physically in the hospital) part of your life (marrow), so that another could continue to live and be a Mom to her child.
    Beautiful.
    God bless you!

  50. Lisa Miray Hayes says:

    What an inspiring story! I hope to one day be called as a match for someone.

  51. Les Midgett says:

    I have been waiting for about 17 years hoping to donate. It is fun to read about so many who would love to go through the discomfort to give someone one last shot at living.

    God bless you all

  52. Lori Rose says:

    I did one Blood stem cell donation 12 years ago and would go through the little discomfort again to help someone else.

    • michelle doucette says:

      I have been on the registry for over 20 years and have been called twice for additional compatability testing. Unfortunately I wasn’t a close enough match and I can only hope that the patients were able to find more suitable donors. I still hope that someday I can help someone with a transplant. However, there are many other ways to help. Don’t forget that regular blood and platelet donations save lives daily. Plus, the more people you tell about the registry increases the possibility that there will be a match for someone waiting! You don’t have to be a donor to help to save a life!!!

  53. Carrie says:

    You are an amazing person. I also donated twice to the same recipient. Both my donations were stem cells. I would do it again in a heartbeat, if given the chance. Thank you for joining the registry and thank you for saving a life.

  54. steve says:

    Great story and thanks for sharing.I have on the list 15 yrs and only have 51 weeks to go before the big 60. I’m waiting for the call….

  55. Janice says:

    I just wanted to say thank you to everyone on this site that has signed up to be a donor if called. I was the recipient of a transplant in 2006…my sister was my donor. I was so blessed to have a matched sibling. I am so thankful for this gift…for each breath that I take, for the memories I am able to make..with my family..with my grandchildren. God has so blessed me and I don’t ever want to take that for granted. Life is so precious.

  56. Lynne says:

    Wow…similar to my story-two donations a little more than a year apart for the same patient. It blessed me to give and I am excited to know that there is hope for my patient.

  57. Brenda says:

    Your story is very inspiring and I hope you get to meet her one day. I have been on this list for years and truly hope I have the chance to help someone someday.

  58. Liz says:

    My husband was a recipient 20 years ago and has lived to see our daughter graduate from high school, college, grad school and get married! Hopefully some day he will experience graschildren too. All because of an anonymous donor 2000 miles away. I have been on the donor list for 22 years and have been contacted as a potential match twice, but never have gotten past that. We have talked on the phone and exchange letters with his donor but I want to tell every donor that you have the potential to change lives so please stay on the list!

  59. Mary says:

    I donated PBSCs in August and received notice a couple of weeks ago that my recipient had been relase from the hospital after 36 days. My cells were engrafting and he had celebrated his birthday with familey and friend.

  60. Paula says:

    Amazing! It’ll be two years in May since my son rec’d his international unrelated bone marrow for his transplant. Since he was only 14 mo old at the time, we traced his hand on a piece of paper and wrote “Thank you” across it. Truly selfless and amazing giving someone a second chance especially a baby. As a result of my son’s transplant, both his dad and I are registered donors.

  61. Audrey says:

    Yes! Way to go Mark! I’m proud of you… I have been on the Registry for approximately 12 years and have not been called. Sometimes when I read stories like yours – I must admit I become envious that I have not matched anyone YET. Meanwhile, I am anxiously waiting to be able to help someone in need.

  62. Ellen Mina says:

    I was lucky to be a stem cell donor 6 years ago. My veins actually collapsed and I needed to have a central line placed in my chest. Unfortunately, my receipent passed away. I would do it again tomorrow if asked!!! My sister had a bone marrow transplant in August!!! And she us doing great!!!! Everyone needs to be on the registry!! You never know if one day, you will need a transplant!!! Thsnk goodness for people like Mark!!!

    • Mano says:

      I don’t know if 90s slang was ever cool, however Will Smith most deenlitfiy is still cool 🙂 And his last film, Seven Pounds, was all about the power of giving life through giving a (biological) part of yourself. Like giving blood!

  63. jennifer gates says:

    I have been on the list for over 30 years with no call ;-(. I am now 54 and only have a few good years left 🙂 I still donate blood and platelets because those are needed as well

  64. Farzana says:

    You are so lucy i am waiting for that call forever. God belss you forever.

  65. Tam says:

    Wonderful story! I joined the registry in 2008 and was contacted in the fall of 2010 that I was a match. I did a stem cell donation in March of 2011. In my case it only took one day – about 6 hours total. I had almost no symptoms from the filgrastim – just the tiniest bit of stiffness in the mornings. I was tired after the procedure but felt fine the next day, and my blood counts were back to normal within a week. I was 51 years old at the time, a bit overweight – and if I can do it so can anyone! If you have not been called don’t feel bad – the fact that you have volunteered and would donate if asked is wonderful! Also you can help to educate people and promote joining the registry.

  66. Mary Byrnes says:

    Thank you for being so courageous.
    My son is a stem cell transplant recipient and it saved his life. He had a double cord blood transplant. I am on the donor list and would love to be called to donate. Thank you.

  67. Cindy Kaiser says:

    Thank you everyone for being registered. I registered 15 years ago, never realizing how my life would ultimately be impacted. My 24 year old son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia only four months ago and he has been on the registry for about a month. We are extremely hopeful for a match and his full recovery. Bless you all!

  68. Website Value says:

    Wonderful story, he deserves a lot of appreciation and love. Congratulations to him, he’s a great man and he helped a lot. It’s lovely to see great people that help.

  69. April says:

    I dontated PBSC’s back in September 2011. I got a call yesterday that the gentleman that I donated to passed away back in January. My donation was international! I know that I would donate again if I was needed. I was on the list for 3 years before getting called!

  70. Karissa says:

    I donated back in October of 2011 and in May of 2012 my mother was diagnosed with AML. She received a transplant from an unrelated donor in Oct 2012.I have just received a call to donate again to the same recipient. Very nervous this time around, but I would never turn down the chance to help someone just as someone else helped my mom.

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