TODAY Show celebrates donors for “sharing kindness”

Posted January 9th, 2017 by Be The Match and filed in News
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Anna, marrow transplant recipient, with her mom.

Anna, marrow transplant recipient, with her mom

NBC’s TODAY Show recently featured two courageous transplant patients: the young woman, Markel, who met her life-saving marrow donor, Shauna for the first time in New York, and 7-year-old Anna, who received her transplant last fall.

When they first learned that they needed marrow transplants, both Markel and Anna had family members tested to see if they could donate, but neither Markel’s twin brother nor Anna’s 4-year-old sister was a match. They would each need to find a stranger who would be a genetic match—and be willing and available to donate.

They turned to Be The Match for help, and from a registry of 13.5 million potential donors, Anna had just two ideal matches—but hopes were dashed when both of them turned out to be unavailable to donate.

Anna’s only hope was to choose the next best match, despite an increased risk of complications. Fortunately, an appropriately matched European donor was found and Anna received her life-saving transplant. Today she is doing well.

Markel and her donor, Shauna were able to meet and celebrate in person amidst hugs and tears of joy. “I can’t thank her enough for sharing her

Transplant patient Markel meeting her marrow donor Shauna

Transplant patient, Markel meeting her marrow donor, Shauna

kindness towards me and I urge everyone else to share their kindness, even the littlest amount that you have,” said Markel.

“It was honestly a very painless and easy process,” said Markel’s donor, Shauna. “It was just such an incredible thing to think, ‘wow, there’s someone out there who has my blood and cells in her, and that helped her beat this terrible disease.’”

Anna’s family also hopes to meet their donor, but they must remain anonymous to each other for at least a year. “I think about our donor a lot,” said Melissa, Anna’s mom. “So I hope to meet him one day, and tell him from the bottom of my heart how grateful I am to him for saving our daughter’s life.”

“It started with swabbing a cheek, and ended up being a long life for a beautiful little girl,” said Tim, Anna’s dad. “This year we’ve received random acts of kindness, deliberate acts of kindness, and anonymous acts of kindness. I think a good thing for our family, this year and beyond, is to share kindness.”

You too can share kindness and make a difference in patients’ lives.

See the full Today Show segment

6 Responses to “TODAY Show celebrates donors for “sharing kindness””

  1. TIFFANY ARMSTRONG says:

    I pray that I will soon one day be successful match for someone. Never give up and I want either. Love, Tiffany ❤❤❤❤

  2. Markell says:

    I’m a woman named Markell too, a rare name, so this story grabbed my attention and became all the more relatable to be. It’s amazing to me that a relatively minor inconvenience to a healthy person can save the life of another. I joined the donor registry about 15 years ago when a child in my city, about the age of my daughter, was desperately seeking a match. I wasn’t a match for him but hope someday to be a match for someone. ?

  3. Wendi Jordan says:

    If I am ever a match, or when I am a match, I will be happy to SAVE A LIFE!

  4. Beverly Williams says:

    Desperately in need of a match

  5. Sid Post says:

    I’m proud to be a member of the bone marrow registry now for over 3 decades. If you need a match and I am the one, I am ready willing and able!

  6. Marleny Rosado Arce says:

    Buenas tardes lamentablemente ya no puedo ser donante de medula osea, porque hace unos 10 a;os estoy padeciendo de varias enfermedades autoinmunes y no me encuentro bien de salud.Me duele en el corazon no poder seguir en este acto tan bonito.Pero tomo tantos medicamentos que no podria someterme a ninguna operacion donde comprometa mi salud. que Dios Bendiga a todos y cada uno de ellos y que puedan conseguir lo mas importante en la vida que es la salud. Que Dios los Bendiga espero puedan entenderme.

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