Maggie embracing her donor, Ron, when meeting for the first time.
Maggie embracing her donor, Ron, when meeting for the first time.

Maggie Strong

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On October 22nd, 2022 Maggie met Ronald, the man who saved her life through a stem cell transplant. The pair met on a ranch surrounded by their families, and Maggie had the chance to finally hug and say thanks to the man who gave her a second chance at life.

In 2020, Maggie found out she had cancer. For months leading up to her diagnosis, she suffered from a range of health issues including skin lesions and sore muscles, but she kept being mis-diagnosed. Finally, it got to the point that she was unable to dress her own children or walk on her own. On August 25th, 2020 Maggie drove herself to the hospital where a doctor confirmed her worst fears, she had an aggressive form of blood cancer called Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Maggie’s life flashed before her eyes, how could this be happening? She always thought Leukemia was a childhood disease, how could she have it? Maggie and her doctors were hopeful that she would just need chemotherapy to treat the disease, but after months of treatment, it became clear that she would need a stem cell transplant in order to survive. She received a first transplant but was given the news that the transplant did not engraft, she would need to find another donor. Despite this setback, Maggie remained positive, hopeful that her perfect donor was out there.

Back in 2017, Ronald didn’t necessarily expect to save a life when he joined the DKMS donor pool at a donor drive at his alma mater, Western Colorado University. But that’s just what he did. In April of 2021, he was contacted by DKMS letting him know that he was a 10/10 match for a patient in need, a 38 year old woman fighting Leukemia. He didn’t hesitate, he immediately agreed to donate, a decision that ultimately saved Maggie’s life.

Flash forward a year and a half, Maggie was transplanted with Ronald’s stem cells and is doing much better. Able to once again spend quality time with her kids and go to the park, Maggie was able to fly out to Ron’s hometown in Utah and finally meet the man who saved her life.

Their meeting was emotional, Maggie thanked Ronald for giving her the chance to grow old with her husband and watch her children grow up. Ronald said he would do it again in a heartbeat. Maggie and Ron’s children instantly became friends, playing together with hot wheels and kinetic sand. They are all looking forward to having the chance to get to know one another better, and the families have already discussed meeting up again to spend more time together. They feel as if they now have an invisible bond for the rest of their lives.

Their connection is only possible because of Ron’s selfless decision to register and donate when called. You can make more moments like this happen, register today.

DKMS Contact Person

Adam White

Sign up for a swab kit online. It only takes 5 minutes. You provide hope. We cover the rest.