Steven was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in March 2013. His disease quickly evolved into acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and he needed a marrow transplant to save his life. Steven was lucky enough to find four 10 out of 10 matches on the Be The Match Registry. “I can’t tell you how lucky I felt to have found my match,” Steven recalls.
Later that same year, Steven received his life-saving bone marrow from a young man in Germany. Throughout his transplant journey, he tried to maintain a sense of normalcy. “Always have a plan—the routine is the most helpful; mentally, physically, emotionally.”
Steven joined Be The Match in Washington, D.C., for Legislative Day last March where he met with Tennessee legislators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker. He used his time with them to urge continued Congressional support of the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program (Program). Steven’s story inspired Tennessee legislators to help secure continued federal funding last year. Those funds helped add more diverse donors to the registry, supported patient assistance programs and ensured Be The Match could continue to conduct live-saving research.
Steven will join us in Washington, D.C., again next month to talk with legislators about the importance of the Program. Shortly after this year’s Legislative Day, Steven will finally meet the donor from Germany who saved his life.