Marrow Transplant Recipient Meets His Anonymous Donor at Gift of Life Marrow Registry 5K

Top Quote Neither party could share their identities until a year after the procedure due to donor program's privacy policy. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) January 17, 2017 - A bone marrow transplant recipient met the donor who saved his life at the 7th annual Gift of Life Marrow Registry Steps for Life 5K held on January 15, 2017 in Boca Raton, Fla. More than 600 people attended and witnessed the initial introduction of the pair.

    Falls Church, Va. resident and Ohio University graduate Ethan Krafft, donated his blood stem cells in 2015 to 61-year old Rich Little of Sweet Home, Ore. Little, a retired teacher, was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome in 2014 and no one in his family was a match so he turned to the Gift of Life donor registry.

    Krafft, 23, who joined the registry while attending college in Athens, Ohio, said when he found out he was a match he was surprised at first and it took some time for him to really understand the opportunity he had been given to change someone's life. "It was an amazing feeling realizing for the first time that I could save a life and I felt extremely lucky to be put in this situation," said Krafft.

    Due to the donor program's privacy policy neither party could share their identities until a year after the procedure. On Sunday they were finally able to meet. After their introduction, the two led the start of the run and walk race, with Gellin Zalaznick Foundation, Lennar, LabCorp and Katzman Family Foundation serving as the Gold sponsors.

    "Volunteering to donate is a huge deal," said Little. "This alone saved my life. This is the only cure for my blood cancer no matter what anyone could do-my donor is the single most important person in the whole world-and that saved my life."

    Gift of Life Marrow Registry is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla. As a bone marrow registry, Gift of Life is dedicated to saving lives and facilitating bone marrow and blood stem cell transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other blood-related diseases.

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