Best friends both called to donate — “It felt like fate”

Posted November 11th, 2016 by Be The Match and filed in News
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registry-enews-110416Best friends Brad and Miranda joined Be The Match Registry at different times and for different reasons. Brad signed up online after a friend posted on Facebook about a friend with leukemia. “I hadn’t heard about Be The Match before joining,” said Brad, “but it seemed really easy.” Miranda was at a campus blood drive when she was asked if she’d also like to sign up as a marrow donor. “I said, ‘sure, why not.’ There was no reason to say no.”

 Neither of them could have guessed what a difference their decisions would make.

About two years later Miranda got the call asking if she’d donate to a man in his 70s–the same age as Miranda’s grandpa. And not long after, Brad got a similar call, asking if he would donate for a woman, also in her 70s.

“I took a couple days to really think about it,” said Miranda. “I was worried about falling behind in school, but I also felt like I was meant to take this opportunity. People can sit on the registry and never donate. And now I had a chance to cure someone, to give them more time with their family. It felt like fate.”

“I had really mixed feelings when I got the call,” said Brad. “I had a full-time internship, and worried about how it would all work out. I also thought about the pain of donating, but in the end it didn’t matter. When you donate you’re trying to stop death. Why wouldn’t you do it? It was stressful but also really exciting.”

Brad and Miranda both ended up donating peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) within five days of each other, Miranda going first.

For four days leading up to her donation, Miranda received shots to increase the number of blood-forming cells in her body. “The shots were not very pleasant, but I reminded myself that the pain only lasted five seconds. And I took some pain reliever to stay on top of the side effects so I could make it through a full day of school. In the end, I never missed a class.”

On the day of her donation, Miranda settled in to binge watch “Arrow,” expecting the donation process to take the usual 6-8 hours. But just two-and-a-half hours later, she got a tap on her shoulder that she was done. The staff at the Apheresis center called her donation “spectacular.”

Brad’s donation also went quickly. “It was a strange sensation, but not negative. It was actually relaxing. The total time at the hospital was about 6 hours.”

“The donation was way easier than I expected it would be,” Miranda said. “I’d do it again in an instant if it meant I could save another life.” Brad agrees. “It was easy and everyone was very appreciative of what I was doing. Yeah, there was a little pain and it was a little stressful, but I would do it again. It was a great feeling.”

Brad and Miranda have both received updates that their recipients are out of the hospital and doing well.

18 Responses to “Best friends both called to donate — “It felt like fate””

  1. Sue Becker says:

    This article brought me to tears. God bless you both for your selfless decisions to make the donation.

  2. Kristy says:

    Hoping for the chance to be called to give. What a sweet gift! Bravo!

  3. Lisa Strobel says:

    I’ve been on the Be the Match donor list since 1997 still waiting for THE CALL…hearing this story confirms why I’m committed to this life saving project. I donated a kidney to my son 5 years ago. What a thrill to give him life a second time. Keep donating!!

    • gina says:

      Best of luck to you and your son always! Please donate blood and platelets, if you can, while you’re waiting. Almost no one could survive a marrow or stem cell transplant without platelet donations. It’s a good way to wait out the long wait. Thank you for the great story.

      • gina says:

        Best of luck to you and your son always! Please donate blood and platelets, if you can, while you’re waiting. Almost no one could survive a bone marrow or stem cell transplant without platelet donations. It’s a good way to wait out the long wait. Thank you for the great story.

  4. Deb S says:

    Such a heart warming story. Thank you both for donating, I have been registered for years and hearing both your stories helps me hope that one day I will get the call to save a life.

  5. Danielle Wood says:

    Congratulations to donors & recipients! I have been on this list since 1990. I’ve had a few calls for additional testing but nothing official. I hope others join because moments of discomfort are nothing compared to saving a life. I always ponder, ‘What if it was my husband or one of my children’.
    It’s a bummer how many people haven’t heard about this.
    Keep getting the word out!!!

  6. Mary H says:

    My child is a recipient of a marrow transplant! She was only 2 years old when she got her marrow. She now is a happy healthy 4 year old! I’m so thankful to people like you who are on the registry and are willing! It saved my child’s life!

  7. Jeannie says:

    I registered over 20 years ago when my niece had leukemia. I have never been called but my son Matthew received a transplant in 2009 and a wonderful man in Germany took the time out of his busy life to donate for Matt. Matt was with us 5 more years and I am grateful for every minute that he were given of life. Life is precious. Thank God for the Be the Match!

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I am so Happy the you both did a wonderful thing and I am waiting for the call myself because I would in a heart beat to help someone .

  9. Karen H says:

    Miranda and Brad, What an awesome thing the two of you did!! To be so young, but yet willing to help others in need. We need more folks in this world like yall!! Thanks for donating!!!

  10. Mark Lawrence says:

    Nice story, when it came to the part about donors being on the register for ever. I thought darn that’s me, 23 years and counting. Hope I can help some day before it is to late.

  11. Valarie Hower says:

    My daughter donated stem cells to June.

    Heavenly blessings on you, June. I know you soaked in so many things in those five extra years you were given. Just wish it could’ve been more!!!!

  12. patsy keiner says:

    That’s GOD. He’s so amazing.

  13. Amy says:

    I joined the registry back in 1998 when I was a young nurse and the hospital I worked at had a drive, back then it was the National Marrow Donor Program, I still have my donor ID… I had been excited about the prospect of stepping up to help, over the years I continued to update my info and even helped with a drive to help a friend who was in need of a transplant… unfortunately I have recently been diagnosed with a blood cancer myself, non Hodgkin’s lymphoma, so my hope of being a donor (even of blood and platelets which I had routinely donated) have been dashed. I am so grateful for all of you who volunteer and step up to help save a life! One day it could be mine… Thank you for your selflessness.

  14. Kathleen says:

    Thank you so much for your donations. My dad had stem cell transplant two years ago,tomorrow. He was living week to week on blood transfusions and because of donors like you he is doing wonderful. We are so grateful for your passion to help and are extra thankful and feel so blessed because of you. Thank you.

    I keep donating blood and hope I get the call to be a match so I can help someone like the donor who saved my dads life.

  15. Melissa Renninger says:

    Miranda and Brad, you two are true heroes! To be so young and to have made the decision to save someone’s life is so awesome. I’ve been on the Marrow Registry for close to 20yrs and I’ve always hoped that one day I’d get the call to donate and save a life. I often wonder if my having the blood type AB- has something to do with it, but then I realize it’s all i God’s hands if I’m called or not. Congrats and thank you to you two wonderful people for stepping up and saving two people’s lives!

  16. Marisol Cancel says:

    God bless both of you. 🙂

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