Where you came from ?! An Emotional Meeting Between a 14-Year-Old and His Bone Marrow Donor
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An Emotional Meeting Between a 14-Year-Old and His Bone Marrow Donor


Jack Eppley from Ohio was diagnosed with blood cancer and needed to have stem cell surgery. Although the chances of getting a match are slim, his doctors searched the national registry so they could find an identical match. They were able to find two complete matches and one of them, Mike Reilly, became his bone marrow donor.

bone marrow

Boston Globe

Eppley’s operation went well and he is doing fine nowadays. The bone marrow donor and the recipient recently met in an emotional meeting that united the two families. Jack’s mother, Kasey Huffman said: “He saved our son’s life and he means so much to me.”

The Eppley family spent a weekend in Boston to spend time with the man who saved their child’s life. She said: “We are just so very grateful. We knew that there were two matches on the registry but knowing that there are two matches doesn’t mean that everything is going to go smoothly. Those two matches have to agree.”

bone marrow

Boston Globe

The duck boat driver has been in the registry for 19 years and he told Inside Edition that his father convinced him to register. He recalled: “My father, 19 years ago, said, ‘Hey, get off the couch. We are going up the street to Grace Lutheran Church in New Hampshire. There’s a kid in town with leukemia – let’s go see if we are a match.’”

Reilly said that he had forgotten about what he did years back until a letter was sent to his home saying that his registry matched with an 11-year-old boy in need of a bone marrow donor. He said: “The letter was the heaviest piece of paper I’ve ever held in my life because in that one sheet of paper was Jack’s life. I am a father of two and I had to say yes.”

bone marrow

Boston Herald

Reilly’s bone marrow was transplanted in Jack’s body July last year and he has been living a normal life since. Jack said: “It was pretty amazing. I can’t really describe just how incredible it was because it’s like, ‘How are you going to thank a person who literally saved your life?’”

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