Stranger Saves Life of Leukemia Patient with Gift of Bone Marrow

In 2008 Jim Munroe, 31, began feeling ill. After suffering from headaches and excruciating pain in his leg and a wrong diagnosis of a blood clot, he was finally diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of leukemia.

"The bone in my leg was swelling because of the amount of white blood cells being produced in my marrow," Munroe said. "The doctor said if it went on, the bone would break on its own."

Doctors told Munroe his only chance was a bone marrow transplant.

"I needed to have my immune system completely replaced," Munroe said. "I needed to have it re-booted, essentially, and I needed to have someone else's healthy white blood cells to replace my own."

Out of 7 million potential donors in the national bone marrow registry, one perfect match was found for Munroe.

The perfect match was a 19 year old woman who had signed up to be a donor at a Warped tour concert. She had been inspired by one of her favorite musicians who was able to survive his leukemia by receiving a bone marrow transplant from his sister.

After the blood for the transplant had been extracted by needle, the woman had a tattoo placed on the spot where the needle entered, to remember the place where part of her own body had been removed to save someone else.

Although it took Munroe a long time to recover from the ordeal, now, a year later, he is doing well and has found out the identity of the woman whose bone marrow saved his life.

"I sent her an e-mail and said, 'Look, you saved my life,'" Munroe said. "'You saved my wife from being a widow. You saved my children from being fatherless. You are a hero of ours.'"

About

James Fishman has been involved in the world of online magazines for more than 15 years. He helped launch Sunstone Online and continues to improve the magazine as site editor and administrator. His writing focuses primarily business and technology. To be in touch with James, feel free to contact him at james[at]sunstoneonline.com.

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