Two-time donor is a hero for a stranger and his brother

Posted April 27th, 2017 by Be The Match and filed in News
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Transplant Recipient, Juli with her Marrow Donor, Mike

When Mike joined the Be The Match registry, he was ready to be the life-saving donor for a patient in need – he just never imagined he would be a match for two patients in need.

About a year after joining, Mike got the call that he was a match and completed his marrow donation in June 2015.

When doctors told him that his recipient needed a T-cell booster and asked if he would also donate peripheral blood stem cells. For Mike, there was no question as to whether he would help again.

“I knew that I would not let this woman down,” he said.

Thankfully, Mike’s recipient, Juli, recovered and they were able to meet on October 7, 2016.

“It was awesome to be able to meet Michael and his family,” said Juli. “He was gracious, kind, but definitely not one to be in the spotlight for the amazing miracle he gave to me and my family.”

Shortly after the thrill of getting to meet his recipient, Mike was shaken by the news that his brother, Daniel, had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

As Daniel’s only sibling, Mike was immediately tested to see if he was a match.

“I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, please let me be a match,’” he said. “I know my body is capable of doing this.”

Mike and His Brother

Fortunately, Mike was a perfect match for his brother – to his and his family’s relief.

Mike again donated marrow on February 14, 2017 and was able to be his brother’s life-saving donor.

Knowing that he has given two people, one a stranger and one his brother, a second chance at life, Mike said still feels in awe that he was able to be an unrelated and related donor.

“We feel like Juli’s situation enabled my brother to get help,” Mike said. “You do what you can – I try to be an example. If you can do something to help someone, you help them.”

13 Responses to “Two-time donor is a hero for a stranger and his brother”

  1. Carmela and John Senesky says:

    Thank you so much for featuring our sons’ story. When Daniel was diagnosed with AML and we learned of the slim chances of survival, we were devastated. Fully aware of the success of Michael’s previous marrow donation to Juli, we prayed he would be a match. Turns out, he was a complete match, making the grafting process even more attainable. We have always been extremely proud and thankful for both sons, but this entire experience, even as it continues, has proven they both possess strength, courage and fight! Thank you for your organization and making everyone aware that bone marrow donors make a difference and give someone a true chance at life.

    • Juli Price says:

      Me and Mrs. Senesky,
      I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart, for bringing Michael into this world. He is a wonderful human being, and is truly a blessing for so many. He is my life saver, and I’m forever grateful to him and to your entire family. I wish a speedy recovery for everyone!
      Much love and thank you.

      • Carmela Senesky says:

        Hi Juli,
        I just now read your reply to my message…so sorry for being so late in responding! I am so happy that you are cancer-free, thank God. Thank you for your thoughts and well wishes for our son, Daniel, who is doing well in his recovery. We will keep you in our prayers for continued healing.

        Carmela and John Senesky

  2. Michael T Murphy says:

    Mr Senesky,
    I was so happy to read this article. I remember your boys from back in the football days! You and your wife should be very proud!!!

  3. Darlene C Marlow says:

    Such an awesome story. I know you are So proud of your sons! Not only one, but 2 people’s lives have been saved by his generous thoughtfulness. I too, have a son who has battled Hodgkins’ Lymphoma for 10 years and last year my other son donated his bone marrow to him. He was just a half match, but no other was available. Just had his 1 year check up and all is good. So many people don’t know how very important these donations are. We have been SO blessed and I am SO happy for your sons and this young woman. May God continue to bless you all.

  4. Nancy A Herring says:

    Amazing story for both families! We need more Michaels who are unconditionally willing to help! We pray for health and happiness for all!

  5. Ken Howley says:

    John and Carmela, don’t know if you both remember me but I just wanted to say what a wonderful story you both should be so proud of your son.

  6. Dawn says:

    How awesome are you? I too was a donor to 2 complete strangers!! I think our “2 time donor club” is a very small one…I was told only about 10 of us have done this! You rock!! 😊😊

  7. Kathi Theriault says:

    Michael, I can’t thank you enough for your selfless gift. Juli is a dear friend and because of you we still have her in our lives. Congratulations on your ability to save two lives. You are an example to all of us.

  8. Wendy Ellington says:

    Thank you Michael – I want you to know just how much we appreciate everything you have done for our best friend, her family and countless friends. You changed our life without hesitation, and I don’t think I could ever tell you how much that means to so many people. I can’t imagine where our lives would be today without our best friend’s smile, daily laughs and unconditional love. We treasure each and every day, and we are so very blessed for you coming into our lives. Each day a special prayer is sent your way for paying it forward to such an amazing person. So happy to hear you were a perfect match for your brother and will continue to pray for good health for all families.

  9. Marilyn Carter - Juli's Mother says:

    I think I have finally found words to reply to this blog from the amazing organization, Be-The-Match. Two years ago now I was in despair wondering how my daughter, Juli was going to make it through her February diagnosis of AML since she had no siblings to donate bone marrow. When we heard about BTM we couldn’t believe there would be a match but they proved us wrong when Michael was found. What a God sent. Thanks to Michael’s generosity of marrow and T-Cells Juli was diagnosed cancer free in January of this year. It has been a long road but as her caregiver I would not forgo the opportunity that I was given to spend this recovery time with my only daughter. She has been a fighter through it all. I pray each and every day that she and Daniel will live long and wonderful lives thanks to one man’s example of kindness, the Be-The Match organization, the many wonderful doctors and nurses at Northside Hospital, and all the friends and family that provided so much support and prayers.

    • Carmela Senesky says:

      Thank you for the kind words, Marilyn. It is devestatimg to hear a diagnosis such as our children received, so I can relate to your emotions, despair and hopefulness. I am so happy that Juli is cancer-free and doing well. Our son, Dan is doing well in his recovery since February, praise God. Thank you for your prayers for our family, and we will keep Juli in ours.

      God bless you,
      Carmela Senesky

  10. Juli Price says:

    Just want to send a shout out to my life saver Michael Senesky. 2 years ago today you saved my life with my transplant from you. I think about you every day, but particularly today that I have been blessed with two more years of life because of you. Praying your brother is doing well!!!

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