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Hi, John,

Her name is Clara Violet Boyle.  She is very much alive and is a thriving 2 year old.  I imagine that's the answer to your biggest question. And I have no idea how to thank you or how to really begin this conversation with you.

Words cannot express our deepest gratitude

At Clara's 1-year anniversary of what we call her "Butterfly Re-birthday," I began preparing myself to contact you. It's kind of impossible to truly express our gratitude. But you beat us to the punch, and I was thrilled to hear that you shared your contact information with Be The Match.® After we received our signed consent from the hospital and were given your contact details, I immediately Googled your name.

    John and Clara
    Clara, a happy and thriving 2-year-old after receiving a bone marrow transplant from her perfect match, John

    You were a perfect match

    Here is what I think you might like to know:

    • Clara was born on April 14, 2010.
    • You registered with Be The Match on May 1st, when Clara was 17 days old.
    • Clara was 4 months old when she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
    • The specific form of her leukemia was high risk and because of an infection, we all knew her chances for survival were very slim.
    • You were a perfect match for her. You were a 10 out of 10 and a match for all of the other less important indicators, including blood type.
    • Your donation was 3.5-4.5 times more than required, and they used it all on January 12, 2011.
    • Your stem cells engrafted so quickly that they didn't tell us initially, for fear of getting our hopes up. We were discharged from the hospital a month after Clara's transplant day. It is usually 100+ days before a patient is sent home, and her hospital has never discharged someone that early.

    Your choice gave Clara a second chance at life

    There is a lot more I could tell you. But I will begin to close this letter by saying that your blood is clearly running through my daughter's veins. She loves football. When I told one of Clara's nurses that we received your contact information today, she asked me to thank you on behalf of all the nurses who cared for her. Clara was a favorite on the unit, and there aren't many good outcomes in the cancer unit. You made a choice that many people don't make. And your choice, self-sacrifice and prayers saved our daughter's life.

    You have inspired so many others

    I am grateful that your roommate and coach were able to publicly express the inspiration you were to them. I am also grateful to your 50 classmates who wrote you letters of thanks. I wish I could have been there for your speech at the Cortland youth football banquet and I look forward to hearing your story. 

    I'd also like to invite you to read my blog. It is almost entirely about Clara's treatment and recovery. You can view it at:

    With much love and respect for you,
    Brooke, Clara's mom
    Alan, Clara's dad
    Rosalyn, Clara's 8 month old little sister