Even though Tory didn’t have a personal connection to Gift of Life’s mission, he knew it would be a great idea to join the registry in November 2019.
“I did the cheek swab a few years back at a League of Legends World Championship viewing party hosted by Misfits Gaming,” said Tory. “I thought it would be worthwhile to join if I became a match. You could be the reason someone is able to see the next day.”
Misfits Gaming is a partner organization of Gift of Life, working with the registry to educate people about the large numbers of patients battling blood cancer, and helping to engage new volunteer donors in the 18-to-35-year-old demographic. Transplant centers most often request donors in this age group because transplant recipients have a better outcome when their donors are younger.
In April 2021, he learned that he was indeed a match for a patient in need.
“I was at home when I got the call that I was a match for a 60-year-old man battling leukemia,” said Tory. “It made me really excited because I wanted the chance to truly save someone’s life and make a difference.”
Because Tory lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida, he simply drove across the state before donation day at the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Gift of Life-Be The Match Collection Center at Gift of Life’s headquarters in Boca Raton.
“During my donation I just watched some Netflix and relaxed,” said Tory. “During my stay I explored the area.” Not only did he enjoy the local restaurants, he visited the famous Morikami Garden and Museum. During his collection, the center’s staff gave him a much-appreciated Florida Mayhem jersey, courtesy of Misfits Gaming.
“The staff at the collection center took great care of me and were there for any- and everything I needed,” said Tory. “They are very friendly and well-trained. When I shared my experience with my family and friends they were excited for me to be able to help someone and happy for me.”
Tory hopes he will be able to meet his recipient someday, after the one-year required period of anonymity expires.
“This donation is extremely important to me,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to help people and being able to actually save someone’s life means the world to me. I think it would be great to meet the person I helped and I hope they feel the same.”
Tory, 33, is the father of a ten-year-old boy, and works as a driver in North Port, Florida. He enjoys writing during his free time.