September 2000


A new lease on life
Moseley's bone marrow donation gives man a second chance.

Betsy Moseley has a new lifelong friend. His name is Mike Ryan, a 43-year-old truck mechanic living in Maryland.

Thanks to Moseley, Ryan has a new lease on life. Diagnosed with acute leukemia, he received a transfusion of Moseley's donated bone marrow last year. The results have been encouraging, and the father of three is recovering at home. He would probably not be alive today had it not been for Moseley, Furman's director of planned giving, and David Bishop.

Moseley registered with the National Marrow Donor's Program (NMDP) seven years ago when she was an employee of Metropolitan Life. At the time, David, the son of one of Moseley's co-workers, was diagnosed with leukemia, a deadly blood disease that can often be treated with a successful bone marrow transfusion. A blood marrow drive for David registered 2,000 people with the NMDP.

"None of us could help David, but through his death, we hoped that a life could be saved," says Moseley. On December 17, 1998, a representative from the NMDP called Moseley and informed her that she was a match for a patient suffering from leukemia. The chances for a perfect bone marrow match between two unrelated people are a million to one, so Moseley was surprised when she heard the news.

In keeping with NMDP policy, Moseley was given little information at the time about the person receiving her bone marrow. But since the operation, she has corresponded and exchanged photos with Ryan and his wife, Tina.

"I have spoken with Tina but have not talked to Mike," says Moseley. "She says her husband has some hearing loss. Most likely he will not be able to return to a job that was as physical as his. "Tina says her husband doesn't know what to say. I hope someday that I will get a chance to meet him."

It costs $85 to become registered with the NMDP. The test can be administered in 15 minutes and requires that you donate some blood. For more information, call the American Red Cross at 1-800-228-1496.

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Inside Furman is published monthly during the school year by the Furman University Department of Marketing and Public Relations. For story ideas, e-mail John Roberts, editor.