It can be a real life-saver for people desperate for help, and we have the story of one family who is doubly thankful. They had two loved ones saved by stem cell transplants.
"She's getting her cells from a male, so we gave her 'It's a boy' balloons," joked Megan Dickson, the daughter of a cancer patient receiving a stem cell transplant.
With balloons, humor and a lot of gratitude, Susan Shaver's family watched as the IV filled with life-saving stem cells started to flow into their mother, given by a young man they've never met.
"I'm extremely, extremely grateful. I can't imagine that somebody just would go through the inconvenience and really the discomfort of donating to a complete stranger," Shaver said, "but I'm just so grateful because there's so much I want to do and accomplish yet in life."
And now she can, because of a man who matched her on the national 'Be The Match' registry. And this family is especially grateful because their father went through the same thing.
"This is the second transplant for our family, and from what I understand, it's the first husband-wife transplant they've had here at Methodist," Dickson said. "My father had a stem cell transplant 10 years ago. We had a family match."
Their father lived 10 more years because of his stem cell transplant. He died in May. Then his wife, Shaver, learned she too needed a stem cell transplant. But this time, no one in the family was a match.
Luckily, Shaver found a match on the Be the Match registry, and she and her family are grateful.
"People who are strangers, that are gonna give us a chance, our whole family a chance to love and create more memories together," said her son, Dan Shaver.