Mike Drisgill, son of Arcade Floors Carpet One Floor & Home owner in Maryland, recently reunited with the man whose life he saved with his bone marrow donation.
Mike registered to be a donor at a bone marrow drive he hosted at York College in PA when his good friend was diagnosed with leukemia. A year later, Mike received a call saying he may be a match for a man with cancer and was he still interested in being a donor. Mike accepted without hesitation, and when he found out he was a perfect match, went to DC on March 28th to make his donation.
By the time Mike returned home from his procedure the next morning, the cells harvested from him were already in Michigan ready for transplant.
The recipient of the transplant was a man in Michigan named Bruno Becke. Bruno received half of his transplant from Mike on March 29th, the other half on March 30th. When complete, nurses gave him birthday cards and a cake to celebrate his ‘new’ birthday and another chance at life.
Mike was given regular updates about Bruno, including a 30 day report that said Bruno had felt better than he had in years and after 42 days in the hospital, he had been released, but donor and recipient are kept anonymous for at least one year.
At the one year mark Bruno reached out to Mike. They exchanged email but Bruno wanted to do something more personal and sent a letter to Mike on Christmas 2017, including vintage pictures of pole vaulters because he was a lover of all things vintage, and knew Mike was a track star (pole vaulting) in high school and college. He also included pictures of his family and a new baby he would not have seen if not for Mike’s donation.
To celebrate Bruno’s second ‘birthday’, Mike’s parents and Bruno’s daughter planned a surprise meet for the two in Michigan. Mike got a weekend trip to Michigan to go meet Bruno for his birthday, and Bruno got a birthday dinner to celebrate his second ‘birthday’. The stage was set.
Amber, Bruno’s daughter, filmed the meeting and posted it on Facebook, within days all four Michigan networks picked up the story, and in less than 2 weeks the video had gone viral getting over 5 million views.
Mike and Bruno’s story has helped raise awareness about bone marrow donations, and local and national organizations have reported a significant increase in people being added to the registry since the story has aired.
Interested in donating?
https://theregoesmyhero.org/about/ Mike’s family volunteers here, go here to make a donation in honor of Mike
https://bethematch.org/ National program – check here for drives in your area
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