Bone marrow donations save brother, sister

January 8, 2013 4:24:23 PM PST
Houston parents were devastated when their newborn daughter was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition. The child was saved by a stranger. Just months later, her brother was born with the same genetic condition.

Meet Will and Kate: The two young Houstonians may not be as famous as the British royal couple, but the story of these siblings is just as riveting.

Kate was born with a rare bone marrow failure.

"It doesn't know when she's lacking platelets or white cells or red cells. Her body says hey make some more, make some more, we're low. But her bone marrow can't receive the signal," Kate's mother Lindsey Boggan said.

Kate needed a bone marrow transplant to survive, but Lindsey and her husband Alex Boggan didn't match. But they were lucky because they found a match on the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry. A California man gave bone marrow for Kate and saved her life.

"You can say thank you a million times but it just really doesn't capture the true meaning about how you feel. It's a completely selfless act when you go out and donate bone marrow like that," Alex said.

Kate had the bone marrow transplant at Texas Children's Hospital a year ago. She is now two years old and doing very well.

Then six months ago, little Will was born. His parents were devastated to learn that he, too, had the same genetic bone marrow disorder as his sister.

Kate's donor didn't match Will. But fortunately, they found another match on the registry.

"It's probably going be within the next four or five months," Lindsey said.

So life hasn't been what the Boggans expected, but they know they are blessed to find a life-saving match for both of their children. And they are grateful to the strangers willing to save Will and Kate.

"How do you ever properly thank someone for saving your child's life? She wouldn't be here if he hadn't donated and I wouldn't be a mom if it weren't for her donor and now Will's donor. We wouldn't have our kids anymore," Lindsey said.

You can help save babies like Will and Kate, by joining the "Be the Match" registry. Visit our Month to Match page for what you need to know, including the guidelines for donors of different ages.