Brandon: From Dental Patient to Donor

March 21

"I was at my dentist’s for a check-up and saw signs to 'get swabbed and become a bone marrow donor.' I have a slight fear of needles, but was intrigued by the idea that I could save a life while I was still living. So, I signed up and swabbed.

I’d kind of forgotten about it when nine months later I found out I was a match. At first I was a little panicked. ‘What the hell was I thinking? I might have to have needles shoved into my bones!’ But I never thought about backing out. It was basically a matter of ‘You can do a really cool thing here. Go do it.’

When I found out the patient was a little girl, there was really nothing that could stop me from donating. I have two girls of my own and can’t imagine what it would be like for one of them to need something like this.

I donated marrow the traditional way—needles inserted into the pelvic bone while under anesthesia. But I was fine! The experience was fantastic. The hospital made me feel like a rock star. And when I heard that the little girl was getting better, well, I can’t even describe how great that made me feel."