Daniel felt honored to donate stem cells to a young man
Daniel joined Gift of Life’s bone marrow registry in 2005 in Houston, TX. When he was contacted by Gift of Life five years later, he initially thought it was a hoax. He had forgotten all about the cheek swab test he had performed and was shocked to learn that he was a potential match for a 27-year-old man suffering from plasma cell disorder.
After the initial shock wore off, Daniel felt honored to have been “chosen” to help someone in need and do something so good for this person and his family. He said, “When you find out that someone is a ‘genetic match,’ it's hard to think of them as a stranger. They are more like family. And then when you think of what they must be going through, you can feel the pain and suffering that they must be going through.”
Daniel donated peripheral blood stem cells at the University of Maryland in April 2012. He said that the donation process did take some time, requiring him to be away from work and home, but that Gift of Life’s support during the process was “professional and impressive.”
Though the donation offered his recipient a second chance at life, Daniel insists that he is not a hero. He explained, “People said, ‘Wow, you are being so brave! It’s such a great thing that you are doing!’ Saving babies in a burning building is heroic. What I did was just human. The reality is that I was being given a rare gift, the gift of giving.”
When asked what advice he would give to other potential donors who are considering joining the registry or proceeding with a donation, Daniel said, “It was a great experience that taught me a very important lesson I hope to never forget—that it is better to give than to receive. Before Gift of Life, those words didn’t have much meaning, but when I actually had to face the decision of becoming a donor, I thought about the person who was suffering and needed help. If you are being asked to give, it is because you have something to give and you are lucky enough not to be the one in need. It made these words come true in a very real and rational way.”
Daniel is a married father of two of the “best kids in the world,” he works for a Houston, TX-based company selling pipe and steel. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, and has hobbies such as yoga, pilates, swimming, roller-skating, and collecting bees.