Miami Blood Cancer Survivor Meets Lifesaving Donor for First Time at Gift of Life Marrow Registry 5k

Top Quote New Mother Given Second Chance at Life with Help of Young Marrow Donor. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) January 16, 2018 - After an international search of the bone marrow registry, a Miami woman diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma found her lifesaving donor in just two short months. On Sunday, January 14, the two were introduced for the first time at Gift of Life Marrow Registry’s Steps for Life 5k held at South County Regional Park in Boca Raton, Fla.

    22-year old Tulane University graduate student, Zoe Miller, joined the marrow registry in 2014, while on her Birthright trip in Israel. When she received the call that she was a perfect match for someone in need, she felt extremely overwhelmed with the news that she could save someone’s life.

    “Truthfully, I was nervous and conflicted, but realized the small amount of discomfort I might experience would be incomparable to the great need of the patient,” said Miller. “At times, kindness seems like a rarity. It’s pretty inconceivable to imagine your life depending on a stranger’s altruism.”

    Amy Hearin, 40, of Coconut Grove, Fla., was diagnosed with Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma in March 2016 at South Miami Hospital, just two months after the birth of her daughter, Parker. While doctors assured her that she was a good candidate for a match, she couldn’t believe that it only took two months to find a donor through Gift of Life’s registry. Hearin’s peripheral blood stem cell transplantation took place at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City later that summer.

    “If my donor hadn’t done what she did, I wouldn’t be here for my family, my husband and my daughter, who was only two months old when I was first diagnosed, “said Hearin. “I don’t know if Zoe will ever understand the magnitude of the gift she’s given me, but she’s a part of me now.”

    After the donor and recipient’s introduction, Gift of Life CEO and Founder Jay Feinberg, a leukemia survivor, kicked off the 5k run and walk with CBRE, Inc., and The Katzman Family Foundation serving as this year’s Platinum Sponsors. Almost 500 people participated in the event ¬– the only one in the area solely dedicated to raising awareness for bone marrow and blood stem cell transplants. Proceeds will go toward underwriting the $60 cost associated with processing each donor swab kit to be added to the worldwide registry.

    For more information about Gift of Life Marrow Registry, visit:

    Gift of Life Marrow Registry is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla. 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. For more information, visit

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