Our Heroes

Those that inspire us everyday
Our Hero - Lorenz

Our Hero - Lorenz

Donor Since 1999

Lorenz registered with the National Marrow Donor Program (Now called Be the Match) in early 1999 after a friend of his was diagnosed with leukemia. Humbled beyond belief, he says the donation procedure wasn’t “really a big deal” and the experience made a profound impression on him. Lorenz said, “It’s easy to take your own health for granted without realizing what an awesome blessing being a donor can be.”

Unbelievable as this may sound, Lorenz became a donor twice – the first time in March 2004 and the second time in February 2006. Yes, you read that correctly. Not once, but twice. And while we nicknamed our donor “Hans,” Lorenz and his wife, Jane, named his recipients “Jackie” and “Jack.” Who knew this naming thing went both ways!

In preparation for the procedures, Lorenz had to get shots of Neupogen each day for five days prior. Neupogen stimulates the bone marrow to make stem cells and flush them into the bloodstream. After the five days, the stem cells are collected by running the blood through an “apheresis” machine. The actual procedure takes two days, four hours each day. He sat in a recliner chair and the blood was drawn through a needle from one arm into the machine, which takes out the stem cells, and then returns the rest of the blood into the other arm.

Lorenz has a much simpler way of describing the procedure without using any medical terms. He said, “If you’ve ever had a tetanus shot, a moderate case of the flu and been on a plane for four hours, you can absolutely handle donating stem cells.”

If you would like to learn more, the entire procedure is described here. Lorenz cautioned that before you register, please think through your decision carefully — you could be a match tomorrow. His advice is to be 100% sure that you will donate if asked. Of course, nobody can force you to donate even if you are registered, but Lorenz said he would find it very difficult to decline if someone’s life depended on it.

He mentioned there are other things you can do to help, like donating blood, or supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (www.leukemia.org).

Lorenz ended our interview by saying,  “At the very least, take a moment to reflect on how fortunate you are in life, and tell those close to you how much you love them.”

Words to live by. God bless you, Lorenz, and thanks for sharing your story with us.

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