Former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader becomes Gift of Life's 3,000th marrow donor

Top Quote Gift of Life Marrow Registry marks 3000th life-saving transplant with blood stem cell donation to woman battling leukemia. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) July 29, 2016 - Gift of Life Marrow Registry achieved a major milestone on June 27, 2016, facilitating its 3000th transplant. Olney, Md. resident Alison Iovino donated peripheral blood stem cells to a woman suffering from acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).

    A graduate from the University of Maryland, Iovino, 23, joined the Gift of Life registry in 2013 at a recruitment drive held on campus. The drive coordinator told her that becoming a match was a rare event, so she did not expect it to happen.

    However, Iovino received a call three years later letting her know she was a match. The opportunity to donate came at the perfect moment as she had just made the decision to retire from her role as a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader to pursue a career as an educator.

    With no rigorous training schedule to follow, the timing could not have been better.
    Coincidentally, the two-year old grandchild of a family friend was also suffering from leukemia, and had just received a bone marrow transplant from his five-year old sister.

    "It really put life into perspective," said Iovino. "What if I have a kid someday and I'm not a match - family members often aren't - and I have to ask a complete stranger to do this? Think about a stranger potentially saving the life of your daughter or son, your sister or best friend - anyone that you love. This experience has changed my life."

    Iovino felt fully recovered the day following her donation and said she would absolutely do it again if called for another match.

    "I was thinking about my first letter to my recipient and how I wanted to share what this has meant to me - being a donor has changed me so much," she said. "Even though I knew right away I was going to do this, it turned out to be so much bigger than I had imagined."

    About Gift of Life
    Gift of Life Marrow Registry is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla. The organization, established in 1991, is dedicated to saving lives and facilitating bone marrow and blood stem cell transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood-related diseases. To learn more about Gift of Life Marrow Registry, visit

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