When she was 21 years old, Alana Merkow signed up to be bone marrow donor, not knowing that one day she would save a stranger’s life.
In 2014, one year after she joined the Be The Match national bone marrow registry, Alana was told that she was a match for a 57-year old man in New York who had leukemia. They underwent the procedure, which was pioneered thanks to research done at BloodCenter of Wisconsin.
Following the transplant, both Alana and her recipient made full recoveries. In 2016, they were brought together for a special ceremony, where they were able to meet for the first time.
“It’s very humbling,” says Alana. “My marrow went to somebody who has a lot to live for.”
Many patients with life-threatening illnesses rely on bone marrow transplants.
The Be The Match marrow donor registry is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program and has been helping patients receive life-saving bone marrow transplants for nearly 30 years. Bone marrow transplants can help patients suffering from a variety of illnesses, including leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell disease.
Learn more about marrow donation and join the Be The Match registry.