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Cancer Patient meets Bone Marrow Donor who
saved her Life
Newswise — Rosalind Beard owes her life to a
stranger, who volunteered to be a donor for
her life-saving bone marrow transplant.
On Oct. 4, Beard met her donor, Tim
Crawford, and gave him a long hug. Their
emotional meeting occurred at Loyola
University Medical Center, where Beard
underwent a successful bone marrow
transplant for Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"He saved me," said Beard, a 37-year-old
mother of four. "I had been waiting to meet
him for the longest time and thank him in
person. We have the same stem cells, so I
feel like I know him already."
They met during the 21st annual Bone Marrow
Transplant Celebration at Loyola's Cardinal
Bernardin Cancer Center. Loyola has the
largest bone marrow transplantation program
"Tim is a hero, like the fireman who pulls a
person out of a burning building," said Dr.
Patrick Stiff, director of the Cancer
Center. "Because he donated his cells,
Rosalind is alive today."
Beard, of suburban Melrose Park, was
diagnosed and initially treated in 2000.
After relapsing, she underwent her first
bone marrow transplant, with her own stem
After relapsing a second time, she
underwent a second transplant, using cells
donated by Crawford, who lives in
Beard received high-dose chemotherapy to
kill cancer cells.
Because the treatment
also killed her immune system cells, Beard
received an infusion of Crawford's bone
marrow cells. These donated cells developed
into healthy new immune system cells.
Beard spent about three months in the
hospital, and experienced many complications
and side effects.
"She's a fighter. She did great," said
Beard's physician, Dr. Tulio Rodriguez.
"There was never a time when she wanted to
Crawford, 40, is among the more than 11
million potential donors who have registered
with the National Marrow Donor Program. He
was the closest available match to Beard.
Crawford heard about the marrow donor
program through his church. His mother had
died at an early age from cancer, and he
wanted to help another family if he could.
Crawford required anesthesia for the bone
marrow donation. A doctor inserted a needle
in the back of his pelvis and drew out
marrow. He spent a night in the hospital,
and was sore for a week.
"But now that I know that everything worked
out, it was worth it," he said.