We are a Bone Marrow Donor and Recipient. Ask us Anything!
Brianne: Hey Reddit, my name is Brianne Dollar. I grew up in Hinesville, Georgia and at the age of 17, I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I endured countless chemotherapy infusions, blood, and platelet transfusions, and spent over 120 days in the hospital. Seven months after I finished treatment, I relapsed. My prognosis without a bone marrow transplant was not good. Luckily, I had my matching donor in the Gift of Life marrow Registry, and he thankfully gave me my life-saving transplant on February 28th, 2019. It was a tough road, as I battled severe complications and spent another 100 or so days in the hospital. But I’m now cancer free!! I do struggle daily with a condition that can happen after a transplant called “chronic graft versus host disease”, but I’m not letting it slow me down. I’m now in college to become a biomedical engineer and I volunteer as a Campus Ambassador for the Gift of Life Marrow Registry. I’m helping to add new donors to the registry so that no one has to wait for this life-saving procedure because they can’t find a match.
Tony: My name is Tony (TJ) Connell. I grew up in Burlison, TN and graduated from the University of Memphis in 2018. I currently live in Nashville, TN and work in research for a pharmaceutical company. My journey with Gift of Life started in college where I signed up at a ZBT fraternity event at the University of Georgia – Athens. In February 2019, I received a call that I was matched to donate bone marrow to a young woman battling leukemia. I immediately said yes. My experience donating was exceptional, and a year later I got to meet that young woman, Bri. It was a special moment for the two of us and now I want to help educate others about bone marrow donation and how to help those battling blood diseases.
We were given the amazing opportunity to meet this February at a Nashville Predators Game. Since then, we have both become involved with Gift of Life and help to add new donors to the registry. We hope to educate others about the importance of becoming a donor and the incredible impact that you can have in someone’s life. We are excited to answer any questions you may have about us or bone marrow/stem cell donation.
You can become a donor here if you live in the US.