October 23, 2008
North Carolinian Marc Heath came to East Texas to meet the man to whom he had given a Texas-sized gift. Heath had never been to Texas before, nor had he ever met Bob Hogberg, the Marshall man whose life he saved by donating bone marrow.
“It’s good to be here and it’s fantastic to finally meet Bob,” Heath said. “We’ve been talking and e-mailing, so I feel like we’re friends already, but my wife and I are happy to have a chance to spend some time with him and his family.”
Hogberg was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia in June of 2004. Doctors said his best chance of a complete recovery would be a bone marrow transplant, but no one in his family was a match. A match was made with Heath, and the transplant was done in January 2006.
Regulations prohibited the donor and recipient from talking to each other for the first year post transplant. Since that time, the men have developed a friendship by communicating by phone and e-mail.
“It’s great to get a chance to meet the person who’s responsible for me still being alive,” Hogberg said. “I believe there’s a divine purpose in all our lives and things work out when we hand them over to God. Marc gave of himself in a very real and personal way, and I’ll always be grateful. I have a Savior in heaven who’s given me eternal life, and a buddy here on earth who’s give me physical life.”