Separate Journeys, Shared Hope

In a heartfelt video, Michele Bresnick Walsh and Adam Ruther shared their stories about a life-threatening diagnosis and a life-saving act of kindness.  

Meet Michele Bresnick Walsh, a leukemia survivor and co-founder of There Goes My Hero. Michele received a bone marrow donation that saved her life. “I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a very aggressive form of leukemia in 2008,” says Michele, “chemotherapy alone was not going to cure me I needed a bone marrow transplant.” While a bone marrow transplant might seem like the easiest fix for this problem, it can be hard to find a match.  “A family member was not a match,” says Michele, “so I had to turn to the national bone marrow registry, and I found my match that way.” 

By signing up for the bone marrow donation registry, a stranger was able to connect with the right people and donate their stem cells to Michele.   

Across town, Adam Ruther was donating his stem cells to a blood cancer patient in need. “I donated stem cells in 2015 after joining the registry a few years before,” says Adam. He found out about the importance of joining the registry after an employee at his previous place of employment passed away from leukemia. “I wanted to get on the registry on the off chance I could help somebody and sure enough, I was around the one percent of people who end up matching to someone who has leukemia and needs help.” 

Though Michele and Adam’s stories don’t necessarily align, they are a powerful reminder of the impact one person can have on another person’s life. The support from donors and organizations alike is essential in providing hope and a second chance at life for those battling blood cancer. Their journey encourages us all to consider the difference we can make by joining the bone marrow registry.