Robert's marrow donation saved a man with an inherited immune disorder
For Robert, the decision to join Gift of Life’s registry was easy. A recruitment drive was set up at TerpThon, an event run by the Children’s Hospital at the University of Maryland. He did the quick cheek swab without giving much thought to the possibility that he might actually be able to help someone in such a profound way. Robert was excited when Gift of Life called to ask him to go for a confirmatory blood test when he matched a 20-year-old man with an inherited immune disorder.
“I have a close friend who is battling leukemia and I know how hard it can be to find happiness and motivation when you’re very sick,” said Robert. “I hope that, when my recipient learned I was going to donate, it helped him to know that most people in this world are kind. He has a big group of people that he has never met who are rooting for him. Hopefully, he felt some of that enthusiasm.”
Robert joked that one of the best parts of his donation was all the delicious steak and iron-rich meals he was encouraged to eat before his bone marrow was collected. “I had a great experience while helping someone in a dire situation,” he said. “Everyone I have met and talked to from Gift of Life has been fantastic. They explained every part of the process very clearly, have been easy to get in contact with, and were very supportive.”
Following his donation, Robert was thrilled to see many of his friends and family expressing enthusiasm for signing up as potential donors themselves. He said, “Hopefully my example will lead to someone I know becoming a match and donating.”
Robert and his recipient are close in age, so he hopes that maybe one day they will meet and even have some common interests. For now, he is just happy to have been able to help give this perfect stranger the gift of life.
Born and raised in Washington, DC, Robert attended the University of Maryland where he studied finance. He is currently an account executive for a leverage finance firm in DC. Robert enjoys playing football, volleyball, and lacrosse and is passionate about history, international relations, and '90s hip-hop.