Happy New Year! Yesterday was a special day for me and my family. We had an opportunity to meet my stem cell donor Trent Martin and his wife Meredith in person for the first time at the Fiesta Bowl. In 2015 I was diagnosed with leukemia and in 2016 I received a stem cell transplant. I am cancer free today because of it. I’m a University of Michigan alum, and Trent is a TCU alum, so when the Fiesta Bowl was announced matching up these two teams for the first time ever in the College Football Playoff it was an opportunity we could not pass up.
After halftime we were able to meet and I was finally able to thank him in person for all that he’s done for me and my family. I am alive today because of his generosity. Thank you Trent for giving me my life back. I will continue to stress the importance of joining the National Bone Marrow Registry through Be The Match and supporting groups like The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to help others have stories like mine. Although U-M didn’t win, this was a day I will not soon forget.
The next day we were able to meet for lunch. I was able to learn more about Trent’s donation experience. He made his donation in Texas on March 14, the day before my transplant. His stem cells were sent to me and the rest is history. I encourage everyone between the age of 18-44 to consider joining the National Bone Marrow Registry through Be the Match. According to the National Marrow Donor Program, 85% of donations involve no surgery and are similar to donating plasma. You can save someone’s life!