Lifesaving Blood Stem Cell Donor To Meet Her Recipient, Leukemia Survivor, For First Time

Top Quote San Diego woman to learn identity of transplant recipient at Gift of Life Marrow Registry’s “One Huge Night Los Angeles Gala” on May 4 at SLS Beverly Hills. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) May 04, 2023 - A San Diego, Calif. woman who donated lifesaving peripheral blood stem cells to a gravely ill woman from Lombard, Ill. will finally meet her in person during Gift of Life Marrow Registry’s “One Huge Night Los Angeles Gala” event. They will be introduced to each other by comedian/actor Elon Gold.

    The gala will be held May 4 at 7:30 pm at the SLS Beverly Hills, 465 La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. Due to U.S. medical privacy laws, donors and recipients must wait at least one year before learning the identity of their matches.

    The donor, 22, joined the registry at a recruitment drive during her Birthright Israel trip in 2018, and just over two years later, in 2021, she received a call from Gift of Life that she was a match for a woman in Illinois who was battling Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). She donated blood stem cells for the transplant to save the woman’s life.

    The transplant recipient, 39, will travel from her hometown for the event. She was astonished that her matching donor was found only a week into the search of the registry, and she feels she has now been reborn.

    “I was excited and emotional when I got the news I was a match,” said the donor. “I knew I would go through with the donation to help save my recipient’s life. I knew what I had to do as soon as I got the call.”

    “I am so appreciative I cannot find the words ,” the recipient said of her hero. “It is very emotional – I was reborn. I cannot thank her enough and am thankful for the technology that makes it possible for a total stranger to give me this gift.”

    This recipient was very fortunate to find a matching donor. Only 30% of patients are able to find a match among their family members; 70% of patients much search the registry in the hope of finding an unrelated donor who is a close enough tissue match to donate either blood stem cells or bone marrow.

    Also at the gala, Gift of Life will present awards to longtime supporters and advocates Lia Mantel Krief, and Art of Tea Founder and Master Tea Blender Steve Schwartz. The organization also partners with the family of famed television director Steven Bochco, who passed away in 2018 after a battle with leukemia, to present the Steven Bochco Award each year to a Gift of Life volunteer, donor, or recipient. In addition, singer, songwriter, composer and producer Nick Marzock will perform.

    Since its start in 1991, Gift of Life Marrow Registry has grown to more than 437,000 individuals who have volunteered to donate blood stem cells or bone marrow to save a life. To date, Gift of Life has facilitated over 26,000 matches for those with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell, and more than 70 other diseases, resulting in more than 4,500 transplants.

    For event details, please contact Robyn Malek, at rmalek ( @ ) 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

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