Recipient STEVEN OLSON Meets Donor SAVANNAH KURKA
On October 20, 2022, Steven Olson of Raleigh, NC was able to meet his donor, Savannah Kurka, of Denton, TX. Savannah joined the Be The Match Registry at a recruitment drive funded by Because I Care on the University of North Texas campus. She was seeking volunteer opportunities to maintain one of her scholarships and learned that drives put on by BIC offered great opportunities for volunteering. “As soon as I learned about the greater mission behind the donor drive, I knew I had to sign up,” Savannah related.
Several years had passed when she received a phone call from Be The Match to let her know that she was a potential match to a patient. She said, “Yes,” and further testing proved she was a true match. In December 2018, her stem cells were collected in Dallas and flown to the man in need of them…Steven Olson.
Steven had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in August 2018. Learning that the survival rate for AML patients is only about 30%, he declared, “There no reason I can’t be part of that 30%.” His best chance for long-term survival was to have a stem cell transplant. A match was found in only 2 months!
Savannah says, “I remember receiving a card from Steve, and it brought tears to my eyes to learn that he was on a path to healing.”
Steven declares, “Though we had been writing each other since early 2019, it was exciting and heartwarming to finally meet Savannah in person. She is my champion!”
Savannah said that being able to meet Steve, “was a true honor and joy!
Every day of good health on this earth is a gift and privilege, and the work that Because I Care and Be The Match are doing to help share that gift is incredible.”
Recipient Steven Olson and Donor Savannah Kurka