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Submitted by Michelle Artimez (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)

My father needed a stem cell transplant…a gift from a complete stranger gave me my daddy back

For 4 years my father battled stage 4 mantle cell lymphoma. He went through everything, my family had gotten to where we understood there was only so much more we could do, and we had to wait for the miracle of a stem cell donor match to come forward. Given that my dad is an only child, of Spanish/Italian background, doctors told us finding a match would be VERY unlikely, but we held hope. Two years after going on the list, we got the call a match had been found and the person was willing to undergo the procedure.

My whole life changed that summer. My dad got his transplant, he went into remission, and it was all because of a complete stranger, whom we may never know. I got my daddy back. He’ll be there to walk me down the aisle someday. He’ll be around to continue giving me advice, his smile will be there. I hope one day I can thank this stranger, but for now, I focus on spreading the word about the Be the Match Foundation and encouraging everyone to join and put themselves on the national marrow registry (which is different from the organ registry) because I hope that everyone I know will be able to be the miraculous stranger for someone someday.