“When I signed up for it, I did know I agreed to be there for someone if they needed it and that was something I wasn’t going to not do.”

A recent graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Lauren had been a part of the NMDP® Registry since 2016, when she participated in a GITG drive hosted on campus her sophomore year. At the time, she didn’t think too much about joining, a friend was going so she went too.            

Lauren was surprised when she received a call that she was a match for a woman in her 60s with lymphoma. Lauren’s mom had been on the registry for many years and had never received a call. Lauren felt it would be the same for her. “I didn’t really think about what it was that I signed up for again until I got the call.”   

Just starting a new job, Lauren recalls wondering what donating would entail; however, she was committed, no matter what. “When I signed up for it, I did know I agreed to be there for someone if they needed it and that was something I wasn’t going to not do.”  

Along with the support of her family and friends, Lauren began preparing for her donation. “As soon as I realized how non-invasive it would be, it was a no-brainer.” Her sister Sarah was her “sounding board” and the doctors and nurses were informative every step of the way, addressing all of her concerns or questions. “It seemed so obvious that doing this would be easy and safe and so worth it, even if it was a slight inconvenience.” 

Lauren received a series of daily shots at a local Dr.’s office and drank a lot of water the week leading up to her donation. The procedure entailed being hooked up to a machine via an IV and took a couple of hours at a local blood center. After the donation procedure, Lauren felt tired, achy and was sleeping a lot. By the third day post-donation, she felt ‘back to normal’. Lauren went back to work and doing the things she enjoys: crocheting, kayaking, playing softball, and spending time with her cat Guinness and friends and family, especially her sister Sarah.  

A few months later, Lauren received a message to see if she would be willing to donate to the same patient. The first donation helped the patient, but another donation was needed. Lauren was once again ready to help. “I was glad for the opportunity to help again. I made a decision I was going to be this person’s donor and I was going to do that as long as she needed me.” The second donation took a little longer but was less of an intense process; with slightly different preparation.

Sharing her experience with friends and family has inspired them to join the registry also in hopes of being someone’s match.

“I feel like I was the very last piece of the puzzle to help this person. It feels really nice to know I helped save a life.”

Skip to content