Man thanks his ‘Be The Match’ donor for saving his life

U.S. & World

COLUMBUS (WCMH)— 25 months ago Ron Cook was getting an infusion for a stem cell transplant at The James. He says that day saved his life. 

“I’m feeling very very fortunate that things have worked out in my favor and be the match is at the heart of it all,” said Ron Cook.

Ron was diagnosed with a disease that he says is in the leukemia family, “Myelodysplastic syndrome and it means it’s a breakdown of the way your stem cells or bone marrow is functioning and so when I was told I had it I was basically told you don’t survive this disease.”

He started a relatively new chemotherapy and that kept him going for 4 and a half years then he learned it was possible to have a stem cell transplant that could save his life. His match was found in Germany.

“Be The Match is how they found the match donor was made possible through work they do and they actually brought the stem cells from the German donor to The James during the one day period so I could have the transfusion. I just felt so thankful. There’s about a 30 to 35% chance of the cure but I was one of the lucky ones and I passed my two year anniversary a month ago so now the prospects look very good,’ says Cook.

Janice Cook is Ron’s wife who says she is very happy and has been talking about Be The Match with every person she runs into, “We are so thankful to our German donor who is probably 30 years old now we found out his name is Jacob and every day we think about him and his willingness to reach out to help a human being that he had no idea where in the world it might happen. He has told us in an anonymous emailing back and forth that he’d do it again in a minute.”

Ron says he looks forward to many more years of playing music, gardening, traveling with his wife, time with his two children and 6 year old granddaughter.

“It could be totally different because Ron would probably not be here in this stage just as other MDS patients, leukemia patients run out of time if they don’t have a match donor that’s it. Christmas is going to be wonderful the kids are home the grandchild is here and Ron is here and we’re just very very grateful for that,” says Janice.

Ron and Janice also want to thank the doctors and nurses right here at the James for everything they did for Ron.

To learn more about Be The Match visit –

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