After his good friend Oliver was diagnosed with leukemia, Noah Friedman jumped at the chance to support him by registering at a DKMS donor drive in 2015. Fortunately, Oliver found a match and received his lifesaving transplant, but for Noah, the story had just begun. In 2017, Noah learned he was a match for a young girl with leukemia, immediately agreeing to the donation having seen first hand the impact the decision can have. Noah’s donation showed him that the potential we have as humans is truly limitless and, after this life-changing act, he felt motivated push himself physically and use those opportunities to inspire others to register as potential donors like he did.
My name is Noah Friedman. In early 2017, I signed up for the DKMS bone marrow donor registry because a close friend of mine had his life saved through a marrow transplant. A few months later, I got a phone call that altered the course of my life: I found out I was a perfect match for an 8 year old girl in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant. I had surgery in June of 2017 and found out in September that it looked like she was going to make a full recovery; it was perhaps the most fulfilled I’d ever felt. Unfortunately, her health took a quick turn for the worst and she passed away in November that same year. I never got to meet her and yet her passing has left an unequivocal void that I’ll never truly fill.
However, the entire experience - getting the first call, having surgery, and knowing that I had a true chance to save a life - has given me an entirely new drive and motivation to educate and inspire others to try and save lives themselves. Signing up for the registry is easy, but many fear the surgery will cause irreparable damage to their physical abilities.
I know from first hand that this simply isn’t true; I was on the treadmill the day after my surgery, lifting weights a week later, and alpine skiing a month later. I’ve since completed several triathlons and train every day with an elite fitness community in New York City.
I am now taking my pursuit to the next level by training for and completing an ironman triathlon in partnership with DKMS. An Ironman race is a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike, followed by a full marathon.
I’ll be racing in the November 21st Ironman 2021 in Cozumel and partnering with DKMS. My goal? Inspire others like me to register themselves for the chance to save a life.