Skip to main content
WHAT IS IT REALLY LIKE TO DONATE BONE MARROW

Read as a contributor to the Huffington Post goes through the process of donating his bone marrow:

 

 

You might be the perfect match for someone. Please join the registry and save a life here: https://icla.org/join

Share this:
Selfless Samantha

Samantha Mitchell joined the Be the Match registry at a bone marrow drive held at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh, WI, where she was studying microbiology.  Little did she know that she that her HLA type was a 100% match for a young boy living in Brazil with leukemia, a boy desperately in need of a bone marrow donation.

Samantha received a call from Be the Match about a month after she joined the registry.  Following a blood test and a check-up, she drove the 85 miles to Madison, WI to make a peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation.  At the time, she had no idea that her stem cells would travel another 5,300 miles to Sao Paulo Brazil to save that young boy living with leukemia.

The process for a PBSC donation is similar to giving blood.  For 5 days, the donor receives injections of filgrastim, which increases the number of blood-forming stem cells in the bloodstream.  Your blood is then removed through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine that will collect the blood-forming cells. The remaining blood is returned to you through a needle in the other arm.  

Samantha says that although she was anxious about the procedure, she felt better knowing that she was directly helping someone.

After the young boy in Brazil received Samantha’s donated cells, his body had complications.  He spent almost 2 years in the hospital and his doctors recommended an additional transplant of lymphocytes.  Samantha agreed to a second donation without hesitation.

Samantha was finally able to meet the recipient of her cells, Tancrede Bouveret, and his entire family, at the Icla da Silva Foundation’s Hope Gala in New York City on October 18, 2017.  You can read about Tancrede’s story here.

“While I already feel connected to them, words can’t express how excited to actually meet him and his family”

– Samantha Mitchell

Samantha’s Mitchell’s act of giving was selfless.  The fact that she gave twice (a rare occurrence), makes her remarkable.  We are grateful that she joined the registry and we are thankful that she had the commitment to save a life.  Today Samantha continues to live her life, has graduated from university, and is now working at the same hospital where she donated bone marrow. Her story has come full circle.

You can potentially save the life of someone suffering from a blood cancer by clicking here and joining the registry.

 

Share this:
Brazilian Marrow Donor Urges Others to Join

Elaine Freitas is a photographer who loves to photograph love.  Her subjects say that she is patient and calm.  Some refer to Elaine as a magician, finding smiles where they didn’t exist before.

Elaine and her husband are both Brazilian.  They had learned about a bone marrow registration in their hometown of Framingham, Massachusetts and heard the story about a 13 year old Brazilian girl who had had passed away because she could not find a matching donor.  That girl was Icla da Silva.

They both registered at the Bone Marrow drive.  Two years later, in 2004, Elaine received a call that she was a match for a patient in need.  As expected, she was frightened, but went to Dana Farber Cancer Institute to be examined and tested.

In March of 2005 she donated bone marrow.  She still does not know the patient, but she considers her experience the opportunity of a lifetime.  Imagine knowing that you were able to assist at giving someone a second chance at life.  That is an opportunity that she could not give up on.  Elaine insists she would do it all over again at a moments notice.

Elaine Freitas hopes that people recognize the wonder of life by registering and ultimately being able to donate you bone marrow to save someone else’s life.  She still remembers the story of Icla da Silva and could not imagine what she would do if a family member had leukemia without the chance to have a life again.

We honor you Elaine Freitas, you truly are a loving , patient magician.

Won’t you please consider joining the registry to give someone else a second chance at life?

Share this: