A Kansas City-area woman signed up to become a stem cell donor ten years ago and has waited since then to become a match for someone. She finally received the call.
26-year-old Elizabeth Leonard was overwhelmed to finally have the opportunity to save a stranger who was battling blood cancer.
Now, she is encouraging others to become donors as well.
It all started when Leonard’s dentist, Dr. Nevin Waters, was diagnosed with a form of Leukemia back in 2003. A year after his diagnosis, he was matched with a donor who saved his life!
This inspired Leonard to get her cheek swabbed and register to become a donor herself.
When Leonard received the call a decade later that she was someone’s match, she couldn’t wait to tell her dentist. He was moved by her generosity.
Leonard flew to Colorado, where she donated her blood stem cells in a simple process that took five hours.
According to DKMS, 70% of people suffering from blood-related illnesses must rely on donors outside of their families to save their life.
Leonard hopes her story will encourage others to become donors as well.
“You give back, and it seems like the world gives back to you as well,” Leonard told Fox4 KC. “So it’s just such a positive start to everything going forward for me.”
Click here if you’re interested in joining the stem cell registry to potentially save someone’s life.
Hear more of this inspiring story in the video below: