I’m a match! I’m a match! I’m a match!

Posted January 17th, 2012 by Be The Match and filed in Donor Stories
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Have you ever thought about what it would be like if you got the call letting you know you were a match for a patient? Sara, a recent college graduate from Clemson University, learned she was the one for a patient in need of a marrow transplant and wrote to us to let us know about her excitement.

“I’m a match! I’m a match! I’m a match! I recently found out I am a match for a woman who is international. I just thought I would write to you to express how incredibly excited I am about being able to donate! As a senior who is getting ready to graduate in a week and a half, I look around at all of my other friends who are graduating and they have a plan while I still do not. I have been searching for a job all semester and have not had much luck. I have also recently finished a huge senior project and have transitioned out of my role as president of my sorority. My life is changing at a rapid pace and so much is unknown about my future at the moment. While everything that I have known is changing and I am trying to find something else in my life to give me purpose like my sorority and school did, I get a call from Be The Match. I now have found my purpose! I am so excited that I will give this person a second chance! I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to provide this opportunity for someone. I know that this process is about the patient, but I did not realize that being a match would have this effect on me. Being able to help someone in this way is the best present I could get and give this season!”

On average, 1 in 540 Be The Match Registry members in the United States learn they are the best match for a patient and go on to donate. Read more about your odds of matching>

33 Responses to “I’m a match! I’m a match! I’m a match!”

  1. Naomi Sechrest says:

    I am so happy for you! That must be really exciting. I can only hope to be a match one day.

    I will say reading your story and hearing you say you are looking for a purpose made me think of the purpose I have found for my life in God. Everything around us changes, but God never does. Just something to think about.

    Again, Congratulations on being a match! I hope everything goes well. I will say a prayer for you and the person you are helping.

  2. karen says:

    Sara: God Bless You!

  3. Cathy says:

    Go, Tiger! I graduated from Clemson also (a lot less recently than you, though!) I’m so happy that you are the generous and loving person you obviously are. Congratulations on being a match. Sending prayers that all goes wonderfully – in this donation and in your future endeavors. I have confidence that you will succeed brilliantly!

  4. Pradeep says:

    Sara, I am so happy for you and the recipient! Long live and God bless both of you!
    I hope everything goes well.

  5. Ginny says:

    WOW, my sister received a marrow transplant from a donor in Italy two years ago. She is doing great. I hope to get called some day before I reach the age limit. Thanks to people like you others have a chance.

  6. Michelle says:

    Yay, Sara! That is WONDERFUL news! I truly understand your excitement…
    After 15 years of waiting for the call, I recently received notice that I am a possible match for a patient! I just shook and cried when I found out, and it continues to be a very emotional experience. The possibility of giving life to another person–wow!! I went for the DNA blood testing this week. Now, I wait some more. If it is not me, I pray that my patient finds her perfect match, like yours did. God bless you in all you do.

  7. Peter says:

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing your testimony. It’s important for encouraging others. Here’s some words of wisdom I like to stand on & live by: “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not upon your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:4,5

  8. Lori Ginley says:

    Hi Sara! Congratulations on being a match. My mom had leukemia five years ago and is in remission today. Even though my mom was able to use her own stem cells it prompted me to register for Be a match. As a daughter I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to still have our mother in our lives and to be able to celebrate her throughout the year. I pray that I someday too will receive the call to give another family the chance that we were given. God Bless You!

  9. Angela says:

    When I registered as a doner I hadn’t really thought about the joy a donor would feel upon finding they are a match for someone in need. Even more reason to give of oneself.

    How wonderful of you to be so unselfish. And congrats on your graduation!

    Sending all kinds of positive energy and thoughts to you and the recipient.

  10. Angela says:

    Sorry for the typo, folks. *donor*

  11. Ewa says:

    That is wonderful…I’ve been on the list for several years now and still didn’t get a chance to being a match. Hopefully one day. I agree this is truly a wonderful gift being able to help someone live.

  12. Vicki says:

    I have a friend who is alive today because someone was selfless enough to sign up for Be A Match. The two have now met and consider themselves “sisters.” And truly, their love for each other could not be stronger than if they had been siblings. I signed up years ago to be a donor, but have not yet received a call…. still hoping to have the opportunity. Sara, your gift has already made an impact. You have changed the world with your generous gesture. You are an inspiration. Best wishes for a wonderful future. May you be blessed tenfold!!

  13. Mern says:

    Sara, what an inspiring story you have to tell. You cannot possibly know how many people will be touched by the wonderful thing that you have done. It is obvious that you have parents who loved you, taught you, encouraged you and gave you great examples of what a truly caring and loving person should be. You are all my heroes!

  14. Yvonne says:

    Sara, It is through your decision that another person gets a fighting chance at life. You are the definition of a hero. Whatever life has lined up for you in the future will surely be blessed by your actions now. <3

  15. Janice says:

    From a patient’s point of view, I would like to say thank you. I received my sister’s in Aug 2006 and continue to be cancer free. How blessed I am. The words thank you seem so inadequate for the gift of life that we have received, but I am sure all recipients of marrow feel this way.
    By the way, my son is a 98 graduate of Clemson. Go Tigers!!!!!

  16. Joan Harmon says:

    Congratulations Sara! I too have been waiting for a call for several years and hope that I can help someone in need. I have a niece and nephew with Fanconi’s Anemia which is heartbreaking since it is usually fatal by age 30. With volunteers like Sara their chances of finding a bone marrow donor increases and with it, their chance of a normal life span. Thanks to everyone who registers!

  17. Digna Bautista says:

    Congratulations Sara! I just hope that more people register to help other in need and a chance of a better life. I am still waiting to be a match soon before my time runs out as the set age limit is 60.

  18. Carey says:

    Kudos to you from a fellow Clemson grad and sorority member(KKG)! I’m waiting for my call. Sending good wishes to you and the recipient!
    All the best!

  19. Lisa Beck says:

    Sara, I was a match back in March of 1991. You can see my story under the donors story 20 years later. We had a 20th re Birthday party for my patient back in May of 2010 it is a amazing feeling to give someone a second chance at life. Have you given yet? You can e-mail me if you have any ? about the process. Good luck and God Bless you.
    Lisa Beck Fellow donor. 🙂

  20. Katelyn says:

    Yay Sara! You are so awesome and you couldn’t make us more proud back here at Clemson. I still remember the day you came running in my room telling me you got the phone call. We all miss you and can’t wait for you to visit!

  21. Sara says:

    Thank you everyone for your wonderful responses! I have had the procedure and am fully recovered! I have not heard from the doctors on the recipient’s end yet, but I am remaining hopeful to hear something soon! So please keep my recipient in your thoughts!
    Thank you to everyone who has both donated and is on the registry and waiting for a call. I have learned through this process that it really restores people’s faith in humanity to learn that there are people in the world willing to donate to save a life.
    It brought me to tears when I received the call that I was a match! As much as the donation has an impact on the recipient, it has a profound impact on those donating as well. Like I said in the original blog post, being a donor has given me a purpose. Now that I have graduated I realized that any job will not do. I want to make a difference in the world. I want to dedicate my life to making a positive impact. I realize this sounds a bit overzealous, but I never thought I would be able to save a life either…and I did! =)
    This has been an incredible journey and thank you again to everyone for your kind words. Some of you have left quotes or words of wisdom by which to live and I would like to leave one as well: “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others is and remains immortal.” My heart is warmed to know there are people like you all who have already donated or are waiting to donate. Be The Match is such a wonderful organization so please also encourage friends and family to register as well!

    • Lorenz says:

      That’s great, Sara!

      Looking back, wasn’t it both “no big deal” and, at the same time, a “huge deal”? At least, that’s what I found — “no big deal” because the donation procedure is so much easier than I thought, and “a huge deal” because it had such an unexpected emotional impact on me.

      When I did my PBSC donations, I wrote down the details of my experience to convince others to think about signing up as donors. Here’s a link to that writeup:


      If it fits into your life situation, please consider signing up as a donor!

  22. Gail says:

    Sara, you are an inspiration not only to the registry but just as a human being. I have been on the registry a little over a year and because of your story I will be praying that God allows me to experience your joy and become a donor. God bless you in every way throughout your life.

  23. Julie says:

    I had the privelege and honor of being Sara’s companion during her donation; I am her mother! Her father and I were almost as excited as she was when she found out that she was a match, and we told everyone. Through the Christmas holidays, I kept thinking about Sara’s recipient and wondering about her and her family. It was very surreal to realize that we all knew that she would be getting a transplant and knowing that she had no idea that she had a donor. It is an amazing feeling to have such a wonderful secret!

    A word does not exist to express the level of pride that my husband and I have for our daughter’s commitment to her decision to donate her marrow. During the injections and testing leading up to the apheresis and during her day of donation, Sara continued to think of her recipient and set aside any physical discomfort that she felt. The staff at the apheresis center and the staff at Be The Match were absolutely wonderful! We are so very fortunate to have met such kind and empathetic people.

    Thank you all for sharing your stories. This has been such a wonderful journey for all of us.

  24. Maria says:

    Dear Sara, God bless you for your unselfish act of giving the gift of life to another. You are an example of the quote – Happiness begins where selfishness ends!!!! May our precious Lord continue to bless you and your recipient each and every day.

  25. Melissa says:

    Sara – this is a great story. I am also a Clemson graduate and it’s great to have something in common. I also wonder if someday I will get a call. Take care and best of luck with you journey of life!

  26. Michelle Killman says:

    Congratulations! My husband’s brother was a match for him, he had his transplant last February, and is doing wonderful. Words can not describe how grateful I am to him. I have since registered as a donor, I pray someday I can pay it forward.

  27. Kathy G. says:

    That is big news! Yes, for you, it is something gratifying. But for the recipient, it is the potential for a future. My son had a transplant almost 2 years ago. He wasn’t yet a teen. I can happily say he is a healthy, 13 yr old boy with a full life ahead of him. (We ended up using cord blood, so not quite the same as marrow, but still life-giving, life-altering, all the same.) Be proud of what you’re doing. The recipients family will be forever grateful for your generosity.

  28. Holly says:

    Amazingly inspiring post, Sara. Hoping we get more and more donors to register. Such a small gift for such a large return for the recipient. Congratulations on your graduation and I wish you success in all that you aspire to do.

  29. Pam Heaton says:


    I am so happy to hear you will have a chance to donate your marrow and give someone and their family HOPE.

    We would love for you join us at the Be The One Run on August 29th that will take place at Jetton Park in Cornelius, NC which is near Charlotte. Please feel free to contact me at teammarrow@hmsracing.com

    Pam Heaton
    Hendrick Marrow Program

  30. Website Value says:

    Great article, such joy! Totally deserves being “a match” because of the great attitude. Congratulations!

  31. Gary Goodwin says:

    Dear Sara,

    What a brave act of selflessness. You are a hero.

  32. Randy says:

    Five years after my mother survived her fight with leukemia, I was found to be a match for another person. I wasn’t able to help my mom, but I felt just like you – I have a purpose!!! – to be able to have the privilege to help someone else.

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