Bone marrow transplant recipient meets donor two years later
Over the past two years, Lincoln Honoway has lived a normal and healthy life.
It wasn’t always the case. The five-year-old from Regina was diagnosed with aplastic anemia at the age of three – a bone marrow disease that prevented his body from producing red or white blood cells and platelets.
He received 11 blood and 28 platelet transfusions while he waited for a bone marrow transplant.
“It was really terrifying. We had four healthy kids for all this time and all of a sudden we had the sickest kid in town,” Lincoln’s mother Erica said.
After waiting for almost eight months, Lincoln found his one and only match.
“We were absolutely ecstatic. You hear stories all the time with people who don’t have a donor. It was a little bit scary because when it was all said and done, we only had one. There was only one match,” Erica said.
Because of One Match’s policy, the family had to wait two years before meeting Lincoln’s donor. Communication came mainly through handwritten cards made by the anonymous donor.
The family was finally notified when Ann Gallagher sent Erica an email on Sept. 12. It shared that she was the donor who helped save Lincoln’s life.
Gallagher lives in Colorado, she is a teacher and a mother of three.
“She means the absolute world to us. Like I said, she was the only person on the planet who could save Lincoln’s life and she stepped up and she did,” Erica said.
“I’ve never met her, yet I have so much love for her. I can’t even describe it.”
When Lincoln spoke to Gallagher on the phone, he jumped at the chance to say “thank you and I love you.”
Erica hopes the family has the chance to eventually meet Gallagher in person, but in the meantime, she’s spreading the story in hopes that more people sign up as a donor – knowing the incredible difference it can make on a family’s life.
“Today, Lincoln is an absolutely perfect, healthy, normal five-year-old boy. He has no restrictions, he’s on no medication and he has a full life expectancy,” Erica said.
All thanks to a perfect match from a new friend in Colorado.
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