Join Registry Give Now
Join Registry Give Now

11-year-old cancer survivor meets her lifesaving donor at Nashville Predators game

Apr 23, 2024 by Gift of Life News

A full stadium of Nashville Predators fans cheered during Hockey Fights Cancer Night on April 4 as an 11-year-old girl who has survived acute myeloid leukemia was introduced to the Gift of Life donor whose stem cells made her recovery possible. 

The introduction was held at the Bridgestone Arena and is the eighth introduction of a donor and recipient hosted by the team. 

As young transplant recipient Chloe Cochrane and her mother, Sheena, stood in the arena, the announcer shared her story and then invited her donor, Piper Cuevas, 28, to join her in the spotlight. Piper emerged from the doorway behind Chloe as the fans applauded the pair.

Chloe was first diagnosed in June 2020 when she was just seven years old, after experiencing severe headaches, unexplained bruises, a rash, and high fevers.

“We learned her diagnosis right after the pandemic started, so we couldn’t have visitors,” said Chloe’s mother, Sheena. “Her brother wanted to donate, but he wasn’t a close enough match, and no one else in the family was, either. We had to search for a stranger to help us.”

Fortunately, Piper had joined the registry at a University of Texas dance marathon in 2018 and was absolutely excited at learning she was a match.

“After getting the news, I wasn’t able to think about anything else, I don’t even think I slept much that night – I was so excited to be given the opportunity to help someone in their time of need,” said Piper. “There was never a moment when I questioned going through with it. The donation was incredibly easy, and although I missed a few classes and shifts at work, both my professors and bosses were very understanding. My close friends and family supported me through the process.”

Chloe is now more than a year post-transplant and is healthy and thriving.

“Chloe is here today because Piper took the time to be tested and then decided to go through with it,” said Sheena. “She didn’t have to do this, so in my mind, she is a hero and always will be.”

“I don’t feel like I did much,” said Piper. “It was a team of people who took care of everything to get me to the donation center and collect the cells. Working with the Gift of Life team was fantastic, every step of the way they took the best possible care of me.”

She also has encouragement to share with others who are considering whether to join the registry and donate or who may feel uncertain.

“Somewhere out there is someone who is very sick and very afraid that they might die,” said Piper. “It’s human to be scared, but it’s also human to be brave and overcome our fears so that we might do something good for the world, or even just one individual.” 

Chloe, now 11, is in fourth grade and enjoys cheerleading, gymnastics, riding her scooter, fishing, camping and swimming, and making bracelets. 

Piper, 28, is currently a physics student at the University of North Texas and works as a part-time bartender. In her free time she enjoys outdoor activites with her fiancée Taylor, as well as writing, and music – playing guitar, bass, piano, ukelele, and drums. 

Thank you, Nashville Predators Foundation, for your ongoing support of our lifesaving mission!