In February, 2013 Marina Sampanes Peed learned that the chronic Polycythemia Vera she lived with for the last six years transformed to an aggressive Myelofibrosis. Her bone marrow wore out and she needed a Hematapoietic (blood) stem cell transplant to survive.
None of her four siblings were a match for her, so her future was placed in the hands of people who are registered as Bone Marrow Donors around the world.
To boost her chances of finding a donor match, family and friends organized “swab drives” to increase awareness and get more people to join the registry.
Her teenage kids, Katrina and Alexander, say their mom has kept her goofy sense of humor and shows them the power of a positive attitude. They want her around for a long time and know that more people in the registry increased her chances.
So far, Marina’s Heroes have registered almost 2,000 people through DKMS and Be the Match drives across the United States. We know at least 18 of these wonderful heroes who registered have been called to save a life and 6 have gone on to donate their stem cells!
Marina’s life-saver is a 22 year old male from Europe. He generously donated his blood stem cells and they were transfused into her on July 26, 2013. Two years after her successful transplant, Marina and her donor exchanged contact information. They are now friends on Facebook and hope to meet in person one day!
We're Just Getting Started!
Committed to helping other families receive this special gift of life, we continue to help school groups, patients' families and friends, and community organizations organize swab drives and educate their communities. Won't you join us?
Check out our bold plans for 2016!
Follow her transplant journey on Caring Bridge!