When Caroline Casey, a volleyball player at the University of Rhode Island, found out she could save a woman's life, she jumped at the opportunity.
Casey was told she was a bone marrow match for Jennifer Guthro, a 32-year-old woman diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Guthro was 33 weeks pregnant and was forced to deliver her son prematurely to begin chemotherapy. She then began waiting to hear if she had a bone marrow match.
That's where Casey came in. After Casey's life-saving donation, Guthro made a full recovery.
"I think it was just an opportunity to serve others—kind of—and I don't know that's what I want to do with my life and I know a lot of other people do, too," Casey told CSN New England. "So this opportunity was right in front of me like, here you go. Do you want to help somebody? This is how you do it. So I said yes."
Because of transplant guidelines, Casey and Guthro were not allowed to contact each other for a year. They eventually spoke on the phone and on Skype and were finally able to meet in person last month at the Andy Talley Bone Marrow Bash, an event organized by Villanova football coach Andy Talley.
"Just being able to hug someone, you know they are real and you can squeeze her and let her know, 'I love her,'" Casey said, according to URI's website. "I want to let her know I'm just happy to be a part of her life."
- Dan Gartland