Vermonters wait for lifesaving transplants - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermonters wait for lifesaving transplants

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Right now, at least three Vermonters including one child are awaiting lifesaving transplants. They need bone marrow donations and so far they have not found a match

Thursday night, the team from Rutland Regional Medical Center was in Burlington hoping strangers can make the difference.

Our Keith McGilvery took "The :30" to the "Be The Match" donor drive at the Courtyard Marriott. He spoke with Guy Jean, a dad from Essex, whose life was saved by a bone marrow donation. Now, Jean is volunteering to help find more matches.

Reporter Keith McGilvery: You were diagnosed with a form of leukemia in April of 2015. As a dad, when you receive a diagnosis like that, what goes through your mind?

Guy Jean: It's devastating. They tell you that you have a serious disease, like leukemia, it is just totally devastating.

Keith McGilvery: Folks will tell you that you have been really fortunate; you received a transplant relatively quickly. A match was found and a few months later, in October of last year, you got a transplant. How has your health changed?

Guy Jean: Prior to having the transplant, my health was degrading really quickly. I was short of breath, tired all the time. Now, a little over a year later, after receiving the transplant, my health is back. I'm good. I feel great. I'm able to go for walks and hikes and stuff that I couldn't do before. So, it's just changed my life immensely.

Keith McGilvery: What do you say to folks at home who are on the fence about registering, who may not know whether they can make a difference or not?

Guy Jean: You can certainly make a huge difference. It made a difference in my life. My prognosis was not good. They said without a transplant I had 3-6 months to live. I'm living proof that you can change and save somebody's life by just simply coming down or going to one of these events and getting registered. And then if you do get selected to be a donor, the process is not that hard.

Keith McGilvery: Guy, we are so happy to know you are doing better.

Dave White is a longtime volunteer. He talked to Keith on "The :30" about what you need to know to get involved. Watch the videos for more.

Click here to learn more about bone marrow donations.

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