This week the Wall Street Journal‘s “Donor of the Day” column recognized Charlotte Moss for her efforts to help bone marrow, stem cell, and cord blood transplant patients and their families. Charlotte became very familiar with the cause a decade ago when her brother battled leukemia and she was his donor.
While accompanying her brother through his treatment, Charlotte witnessed firsthand the struggles of transplant patients and their families. She told the Wall Street Journal:
I saw people that I knew weren’t going to make it….Most importantly, there was nobody around to give them that psychological support to boost them up during their treatment, because they couldn’t afford to be there. And that really put the lump in my throat every day.”
Charlotte Moss has been a long-time supporter of The Bone Marrow Foundation and serves as a member of the Board of Directors. She will be honored at the Foundation’s Be A Lifeline Gala being held tonight in New York City.
Chris Seitz, a goalkeeper for FC Dallas, registered to become a bone marrow donor in 2008. At the time he was playing for Real Salt Lake and their midfielder Andy Williams’ wife, Marcia, was battling a rare form of cancer. In a show of support Chris, his then teammates, and hundreds of others in the MLS community all got swabbed and entered into the registry.
Four years later, Chris learned that he was a potential match for a dying patient in need of a bone marrow transplant. Coincidentally, this news came a little more than a week before Chris’ Uncle John, who was diagnosed with leukemia, was scheduled to receive a bone marrow transplant. Chris’ father served as the donor through a process called apheresis, a relatively simple procedure that is similar to a blood transfusion.
Just as both Marcia and Unlce John’s lives were saved through transplant, Chris now had the opportunity to make that possible that for someone else. However, because of the type of cancer the potential recipient had, the less invasive procedure Chris’ father underwent was not an option. Chris would need to undergo a surgical procedure that would allow the bone marrow to be extracted directly through the bone.
Typically, the donor recovers from this type of procedure in a few days, but being a professional athlete made the situation a little more complicated for Chris. As a goalie, he regularly needs to dive on those same bones that the marrow is extracted from, putting the rest of his soccer season and recovery in jeopardy. Despite the many obstacles, Chris knew that this was something he had to do, and after much planning and consideration, he flew to the East Coast to become a bone marrow donor.
Click here to read the full story about Chris Seitz’s bone marrow donation and watch his video diary documenting the experience.
Robin Roberts, host of ABC’s Good Morning America, is starting her medical leave from the morning show. She is proceeding toward a bone marrow transplant in order to fight myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Luckily, her sister, Sally-Ann Roberts is a perfect match and will be her donor.
To learn more about Roberts’ transplant journey, click here.