Leukemia Survivor To Meet Lifesaving Donor For First Time At Nashville Predators Hockey Game

Top Quote Stirring meeting of Gift of Life Marrow Registry donor and transplant recipient to take place on March 25 during Hockey Fights Cancer Night. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) March 24, 2023 - A Connecticut man, who donated lifesaving blood stem cells to a gravely ill, Atlanta, Ga. man, will meet his transplant recipient in person for the first time on Saturday, March 25. The donor-recipient pair, who due to medical anonymity laws are required to wait one year before meeting, will be introduced at the Nashville Predators vs. Seattle Kraken hockey game at Bridgestone Arena.

    Gift of Life Marrow Registry is thrilled to partner with the Predators to share this heartwarming moment with hockey fans during, “Hockey Fights Cancer Night.”

    The donor, a 37-year-old math teacher and wrestling coach from Pomfret, Conn., joined the registry in 2010 at a marrow registry recruitment drive held at Salisbury School, where he was teaching at the time. Ten years later he was found as a match for a 46-year-old man battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a life-threatening blood cancer.

    “What it comes down to is, are you going to help someone or not?” said the donor. “It is an amazing feeling to be the person who can help someone else. I am grateful I have had this opportunity.”

    The blood stem cell recipient was treated and received his transplant in October 2021 at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. He was diagnosed after experiencing a loss of energy and pain in his mouth. His only hope of a cure was a transplant from a matching donor, who was quickly located in Gift of Life’s registry.

    “I am thankful to my donor for doing such a service and appreciate this opportunity to thank him,” said the recipient. “I’m curious about his journey to becoming a donor and hope we will develop a friendship in time.”

    During the game, attendees will be able to visit Gift of Life’s donor recruitment tables in the arena at sections 315 and 118/119 (across from Tito’s Bar), where Vanderbilt Hillel volunteers and Gift of Life Campus Ambassadors will help explain how easy it is to save the life of a child or adult battling blood cancer. Anyone 18 to 35 and in general good health can join the registry with a simple cheek swab and a short questionnaire.

    Today, 90% of donations use blood stem cells, collected from the arm in a process similar to donating blood platelets. Only 10% of transplants use bone marrow, which is collected from the hip bone and is a short outpatient procedure, usually requested for pediatric patients.

    Since its start in 1991, Gift of Life Marrow Registry has grown to more than 430,000 individuals who have volunteered to donate blood stem cells or bone marrow to save a life. To date, Gift of Life has facilitated over 25,000 matches for those with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell, and more than 70 other diseases, resulting in more than 4,500 transplants.

    For more details, please contact Gift of Life Project Manager Amy Glanzman, at aglanzman ( @ ) giftoflife dot org dot

    About Gift of Life Marrow Registry
    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 by facilitating blood stem cell and bone marrow transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood-related diseases. The registry houses its own state-of-the-art stem cell collection center, biobank, and laboratory. To learn more about Gift of Life Marrow Registry, visit www.giftoflife.org

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