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Donor Stories






Gambian woman saves her sister's life

Gambian born Oumie now lives in Manchester, England.  Read about how she came to the rescue of her sister who was diagnosed with leukaemia.  click here.

What is it like to be a donor?

We were contacted by Jayne Kavanagh from Bradford.  Jayne donated bone marrow in August 2004 and wanted to tell how easy it was.  To be encouraged by her story click here.

Other accounts from donors

The best way to learn is from the thoughts and experiences of people who have actually donated bone marrow.  Here are some examples to give you a real life flavour of what it is all about.  The full web articles are in the form of .pdf files.  If you need Adobe Reader to view these files then you can download a free copy here.

From the experiences of donor Sun Chin-hsing (China)

When I regained consciousness, I felt stiff at the waist. Was it over? I opened my eyes and saw Tzu Chi volunteers smiling warmly at me. I was so grateful to them for accompanying me throughout the entire operation, which was the most important event in my life so far.

The whole bone marrow matching and donating process, however routine and mundane it may seem, actually carries a significant message: that a precious life can be saved. Bone marrow donation has changed my life and has even made my character a little more noble!

download full article (.pdf)

Experiences of donor Leigh Anne Marshall and patient Mandy Burlison (USA)

Leigh Anne Marshall successfully donated marrow for a leukemia patient, literally saving Mandy Burlison’s life.  Burlison lives in New York State and has relatives in Florida near Marshall.  Although they have written to each other, they will meet for the first time on February 11, during the national press launch for the seventh annual SNDD (Saturn National Donor Day).

Marshall said she would encourage others to join the NMDP Registry, “There is nothing to it. Being the donor is the easiest part.”

Burlison said of her leukemia diagnosis in 1999, “I was overwhelmed. It felt as if my entire life, everything I loved, was pushed away so far; I was unable to reach nor touch it.”  Over the next year, she experienced everything “as if it were the last.  And now words can’t describe the gratitude I feel for Leigh Anne, she gave me life.”

download full article (.pdf)

Stefan Bewley donated bone marrow to save the life of a young boy (USA)

"The full impact of the operation didn't really hit me until I heard back from the parents in a letter that said the boy was doing well," said Bewley. "Before that, it was just me and the doctors, who were certainly caring, but there wasn't any real emotional content for me. But to have a parent write to you and tell you that you saved their child's life is overwhelming, to say the least."

"I think it's a great thing that he did," said Kenny Von Stein, father of Jacob, a fourth-grader who now leads a normal, active life. "If Stefan hadn't signed up at the exact time he did, I don't think it would have turned out so well. Everything just fell into place for Jake."

download full article (.pdf)

Many more accounts can be found at the In the News section.  This is regularly updated with appeals and inspiring stories.  The link to this section is on the Home page.



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