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Brigham Young University men’s chorus member gives blood stem cells to man battling leukemia

Mar 09, 2023 by Gift of Life Donor Story

When Grant received the call that he was a match for a man in his 40s battling Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, he didn’t remember having swabbed his cheek at first. 

Grant had joined the registry in 2021. “The ease of access was really great when I got the kit in the mail at my house,” said Grant. “I thought to myself, ‘it doesn’t hurt to do this and if I can help someone out it would be great. Why not do something good today?’”

“I remember getting the call quite well, I was actually at work,” said Grant. “I checked my phone when I was on break and I had both an email and a text from Gift of Life, and I thought, ‘Was that the swab kit I sent in a while ago?’ I really could not imagine it. I was like wow, this is maybe actually really happening, it’s kind of crazy.” 

When Grant told his parents and brother that he had a chance to save someone’s life by donating blood stem cells, they were all very excited for him. Soon after, Grant was on his way to Boca Raton, Fla. to donate at the Adelson Collection Center. Donors do not incur any expenses, so travel, accommodations and any needed medical exams are arranged by Gift of Life, and a meal stipend is provided.

“The donation went really well,” said Grant. “I was a lot more tired than I thought I would be, so I didn’t do much, but it was really great. I felt like they had great amenities, and I was fed and taken care of, it was simple. Not super painful or anything, not a hard day by any means. My roommate Zach was my donation day companion, and we played Mario Kart for a bit, then we watched Kenobi and then just talked to the people attending me, embracing the experience.” 

After donating, Grant received a shirt, socks, and a blanket from Gift of Life. “Whenever I put on my tee shirt or my socks it reminds me that I really want to help people and I really care about them,” he said. “It reminds me of what I can do for other people and of my personal values.” 

Grant has this to add for people who are considering joining the marrow registry: “I would say to anyone if you’re worried about the time or thinking it isn’t worth it – just go ahead and do it. It’s five minutes to do the swab kit, and then I didn’t have to think about it for a long time, and then when I did get to donate it was totally worth it, I got a vacation out of it, and most importantly, I maybe helped save someone’s life.”

Grant, 21, is studying mechanical engineering at Brigham Young University where he is also a member of the men’s chorus (pictured) and plays saxophone. He enjoys skiing, playing video games, hanging out with friends, and visiting with his niece and nephew.  

Grant's swab kit was sponsored by the Evie Goldfine's Fundraising Campaign Donor Circle