“Having my wisdom teeth removed hurt worse …”

Posted June 13th, 2017 by Be The Match and filed in Donor Stories
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Samantha, marrow donor

“Honestly, having my wisdom teeth removed hurt worse than donating marrow. I was under anesthesia and not awake during the procedure. I was in the hospital at 5 a.m. and out by 11 a.m. For about a week and a half I was a little sore, like I had fallen down. And time-wise, it was nothing – especially compared to other things I’ve done, like being on the high school swim team with the grueling training before and after school.”

Samantha was fortunate to meet the man she donated to, Ron. “It’s mind-blowing and cool to think that something I did that was so simple let Ron walk his daughter down the aisle, see his son graduate from law school, and witness the birth of his first grandchild.”

When Samantha was 18, she was already a regular blood donor. When she learned about the need for marrow donors, she researched Be The Match online and joined soon after. “It just seemed like the right thing to do.” In October 2012, she got the call that she was a potential match for a 55-year-old man with acute myeloid leukemia. She went in for additional testing, then went on to donate.

Ron, transplant recipient, with Samantha, marrow donor

Samantha’s recipient, Ron

In 2012, Ron learned that his leukemia, which had been in remission for two years, was back. His doctors told him that a marrow transplant was his best and only hope for a cure.

With no siblings, Ron turned to Be The Match to find a donor match. Within the month, Ron’s doctors had narrowed the options down to two different donors – one of them a 21-year old from Texas—Samantha.

Ron and Samantha met in-person in 2014 at the Chicago Be The Match Walk+Run. Share in the moment which aired on Good Morning America.

8 Responses to ““Having my wisdom teeth removed hurt worse …””

  1. Cherie Baltus says:

    Wonderful story! I as well am a donor. I was an international match to a man from Germany. I have given marrow to him twice (2014 and 2016). I have heard he is doing well, but he does not want to have contact with me yet – that is my dream, to some day know who he is. The experience of being a donor has changed my life. Every day I pray for his health!

  2. David says:


  3. Tina Witte says:

    WTG Samantha!! Best to you and your recipient Ron!! Great story!!

  4. sanjay says:


    Your story is inspiring. I will utilize this on my FB page as I do volunteer work in Houston area where we try to convince people to register for this ‘LIFE GIVING’ noble cause.

    Thank you for sharing.

  5. Jessica says:

    Great job, Samantha and Go Ron! I REALLY hope to get the call some day that I’m a match!

  6. Karen says:

    Great story! I was the best match for a 40 year old man many years ago. He ultimately decided not to do it, but I still feel proud that because of me, he had a choice.

  7. Jessica says:

    Wonderful story!! Hopefully knowing how easy it is to make such a huge impact on another person will inspire others, who were too afraid of potential pain, to become donors. I haven’t been found to be a match yet, but I will be ready when called.

  8. Becky says:

    You gave a gift that can never be repaid, Samantha. A stranger donor saved my then 7 year old granddaughter with a BMT – it will by 2 years in August. I hope we get to meet her one day. My granddaughter has her DNA she is our family.

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