Without Hesitation, Sean Steps Up – Twice!

Posted July 28th, 2015 by Be The Match and filed in News
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Sean photo 3

Sean is no stranger to giving. As the founder and director of a non-profit organization focused on helping young adults, Sean’s generosity extends beyond his community. In 2012, Sean joined the Be The Match Registry® hoping to match a coworker in need of a marrow transplant.

Although he was not a match for his coworker, Sean remained inspired by the thought of helping others.  He didn’t hesitate when asked to donate marrow two years later to an eight-year old girl – a stranger.

Despite being supportive of his decision to donate, Sean’s family was hesitant: they were concerned the procedure would be very painful. But to Sean, the potential pain was not an issue. “Can you imagine what this little girl [patient] and her family are going through every day? If donation hurts, that’s fine. Hurting is nothing.”

Donation Day

Sean’s positive attitude accompanied him on donation day, too. He describes the donation process as “simple,” and felt the most difficult part of the experience was waking up early to arrive at the hospital by 4:45 a.m.

 After the procedure, Sean found it slightly uncomfortable to sit down and experienced a small stomachache and headache from the anesthetic. But this didn’t stop Sean from donating a second time.

Ready to Help a Second Time

Some transplant recipients may need additional blood, marrow, or peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donations to boost his or her recovery. In these cases, donors may be asked to consider making an additional donation.

While being asked to donate a second time for the same patient is uncommon, Sean was one of the three percent of donors that encountered this request. So, four months later, when Sean was asked to donate PBSC (the other method of donation) to the same young patient, he didn’t hesitate.

It’s important to remember that every donor’s experience is different. Some donors, like Sean, say the experience is less painful than they expected, whileSean with caption some report more pain and others report no pain at all.

Sean’s Commitment Still Holds Strong

After recovery, Sean has continued to give his time to Be The Match®. He participated in the 2014 Columbus Walk+Run and hosted a donor recruitment event, adding 40 people to the Be The Match Registry®. He plans to host several online events to encourage more people to register.

“Donation is about being able to help someone through a selfless act,” Sean said. “It helps the transplant recipient have a fighting chance, and to continue to have time with their family and friends.”

Sadly, this April, Sean learned that the little girl he donated to passed away. “Still,” he says, “sharing my experience is important to me, with the hope that it will inspire even one person to join the registry.”

28 Responses to “Without Hesitation, Sean Steps Up – Twice!”

  1. Jan Hirt says:

    Great job Sean. I’m on the donor list and I can only hope that I too to help someone out! My son plans to somehow work with the registry to try to increase the number of minority donors for his senior project. Although he didn’t need a transplant he is a leukemia survivor! Again, thank you for your kindness,

    • admin says:

      Hi Jan!
      We are so glad to hear about your son and his motivation to increase the number of people on the registry. If your son hasn’t already set up his donor drive, he can find out how here: https://bethematch.org/Support-the-Cause/Participate/Host-a-donor-drive/.

      Thank you so much for your support!

      Our Best Wishes,
      Be The Match

  2. Sean Patterson says:

    Thank You Jan. Both donations were a no brainer for me because I would hope that someone would step up for my son if we were in this situation.
    Thank You for your kind words.

  3. Jeff Gordon says:

    Good for you, Sean. I, too, was able to donate. And like you my recipient did not make it. I understand that only 1 in 200 actually make a donation. So, I feel blessed. Hopefully, i will be able to donate again.

    Blessings, Jeff

    • admin says:


      Thank you for your commitment to saving lives! We appreciate all that you do!

      Best Wishes,
      Be The Match

  4. pat singh says:

    Hey Sean you are a good man!!!
    My 11 year old daughter also received an unrelated stem cell transplant last dec. Our beloved donor also stepped up and donated twice. My daughter is doing great now and will be back in school in Sept. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!! One day I hope to meet out donor so i can thank him/her in person.

  5. Sean Patterson says:


    Donating is a wonderful feeling and we hoped that our recipient would have made it. Knowing that we gave them more time with their families should make us a little proud. If they called me today I would do it all over again. Thank you ford

  6. Sean Patterson says:


    Thank you. It was an honor to do this and in the process I hope I set an example for my son who was 7 at the time.
    I’m happy that your daughter is doing well. Hopefully you get to meet your donor.

  7. Enedelia Obregon says:

    There is a great need for people of color to register as donors. For his Eagle Scout project, my son registered 171 Hispanics. His goal was 100. Within the first six months, one of the new registrants whom I know was contacted.

    May the good Lord bless you and your family. You are a true hero!

    • Susan says:


      Wow. Talk about not only the perfect Eagle Scout project but one that totally embodies the spirit of Scouting! Way to go to your son! Such a gift he was able to give.

      Fellow mom of an Eagle Scout and daughter of a Scoutmaster,

    • Jen Giantonio says:

      Wow, what a great Eagle Project idea! My son will be working on his in a few years. I have never heard of this done in our community so it may be something he is interested in doing.

    • Sean Patterson says:

      Your son is a rock star and for his work. Thank you for your kind words.

  8. Cayce says:

    It’s people like you who are so amazing in this world and what the world needs to hear more about. Your comment about not caring about a little pain compared to what the patient and the families are experiencing struck me so deeply. Our 26 year old son is getting ready for transplant this coming week. There have been so many blessings but the truly huge one is the person willing to step up and give in this way to someone they have never met. I am so grateful in so many ways. Thank you.

  9. A. Young says:

    I am very pleased to say that I am on the Registry and have been for a number of years. I have had the opportunity to speak to college students about joining the Registry. I look forward to hosting a Registry sign up. It is important that minorities and mixed race individuals sign up.

    I also have had the blessed opportunity to donate. My recipient is doing well and will be returning to school this fall. The recovery period for me was more painful than expected but I would do it all over again. Receiving a second chance through Bone Marrow transplant is incredible for the recipient and life affirming for the donor. This experience has affected my life in a way that nothing else ever has. It is a huge blessing to be a blessing to someone in need. I am truly thankful for my recipient.


    • admin says:

      Thank you for donating and continuing to spread awareness! You are an amazing person and a hero to many!

      Our Best Wishes,
      Be The Match

    • admin says:

      Hi AY,

      Thank you so much for your continued commitment to the registry and being a potential life-saving match! We appreciate your willingness to step forward and donate for a patient in need of a transplant. You are an inspiration to many!

      Best Wishes,
      Be The Match

    • Sean Patterson says:

      Thank You for donating

  10. Cody McFatrich says:

    Amazing story Sean! I am 25 and just donated for the second time to the same recipient. The first time I was called was almost 2 years ago when I was 23. I didn’t hesitate either.

    I think you really hit it on the spot when you talked about the donors small amount of temporary pain they may experience compared to the pain that the patient, family and friends are going through. I strive to get my friends, family, and co-workers to sign up. Simply being open and telling others the story of your process often inspires others to join!

    • Sean Patterson says:

      Thank You for donating twice Cody. I’m sure you had the same feeling that I did about being able to help someone in need. I didn’t care if there was going to be any pain as long as I could help this little girl and her family have some more time together.

  11. Lesley Gorny says:

    Great job Sean!! You and your family must be so proud that you were willing to help another 🙂

    • Sean Patterson says:

      Thank You Lesley. This was one of the most gratifying things I have every done in my life and I would do it again in an instant.

  12. Cheryl Chlebowski says:

    I signed up to be a donor about 20 years ago. Soon after I signed up I was matched with someone. But after further testing it was determined that I was not a good match. Ever since I have been hoping for a match with no luck. I have checked my information to make sure its up to date and all seems good. I keep thinking something must be wrong for that much tie to go by with no match. The opportunity to help save someone’s life would would not only be a gift for the recipient. It would be a wonderful, meaningful gift for me too.

    • admin says:

      Hi Cheryl,

      Thanks for your commitment to being a potential life-saving match! We appreciate that you are keeping your contact information up to date because it helps us reach out to you if you are a possible match.

      Although you might not be a match right now there are other ways you may be able to support the cause as well. Find out how, here: https://bethematch.org/Support-the-Cause/

      Our Best Wishes,
      Be The Match

  13. Donna says:

    Great job Sean! Isn’t it wonderful to be able to help someone who truly needs it? Many years ago, I was a platelet match for a former co-worker’s wife who’d had a rare blood disorder. While the procedure was a success, I found out about a year or two later that she had passed away. I’ve been on the Registry for a long time and have never been called to donate. I gladly would if called.

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