‘She saved my life’: Young boy meets bone marrow donor for first time
Lincoln Honoway had a bone marrow transplant that saved his life, and on Saturday, the six-year-old got to meet the woman who helped keep him alive.
Three years ago, Honoway was diagnosed with aplastic anemia and needed a bone marrow transplant. No one in his family was a match so Lincoln’s mother, Erica Honoway, said they had to try the One Match Bone Marrow Registry.
“At the end of the day there was only one match available for Lincoln,” said Erica.
Lincoln received his transplant and it saved his life. One Match rules say that bone marrow recipients must wait two years before meeting a donor or sharing personal details. So, Lincoln and his anonymous donor kept in touch through cards and letters.
But now the family finally got to meet the woman that saved Lincoln’s life. 60-year-old Ann Gallagher from Colorado flew to Regina to meet with the family face to face.
“After two years I received an email from her which was an amazing experience,” said Erica. “From there we've talked a couple of times a week ever since. I tell her when Lincoln scores a goal at soccer or when his report card came, I sent her his school picture.”
Finally meeting Gallagher was also a special moment for Lincoln.
“She saved my life,” said Lincoln. “It feels amazing.”
Gallagher said she was inspired to donate after seeing a friend’s battle. For her, the decision to reach out after the transplant was a no brainer.
“I automatically felt like I had a bigger family and it would be really cool if they wanted to include me in their family,” said Gallagher. “You read about the stories and then you're part of one. It's what makes the world go round.”
After Gallagher gave Lincoln his life back, a thank you does not feel like enough for the Honoways.
"I just hope she sees this thriving little man and that's all the thanks we can give her,” said Erica.
Based on a report by Stefanie Davis