85ºF

Bone marrow recipient giving back

Gloria Rivers given marrow transplant 10 years ago

photo

On Wednesday, one San Antonio woman is celebrating her 10-year "new" birthday, which marks 10 years after her bone marrow transplant.

Gloria Rivers was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2000 and went through several treatments, but it wasn't until 2004 when she learned she would need a transplant.

"In 2004, I was rediagnosed and they basically told me that I don't have a choice, I have to look for a donor," said Rivera. "So they searched the registry (and) found a donor that was a perfect match."

Be The Match is an organization that works to connect patients with donors and they also helped Rivera find a donor too.

Now, Rivera is celebrating her "new" birthday by giving back to the organization that gave her a second chance at life.

"I am blessed every day that I open my eyes and put my feet on the ground," said Rivera. "So I decided to celebrate by giving back to Be The Match. I want to do a fundraising campaign they just started called, By the Mile."

Rivera's goal is a 100-day challenge, in which she will ride 1,000 miles on her bike and raise $10,000 for Be The Match to help get more donors on their registry.

"We connect patients with their life-saving marrow donors," said John Hudson, community supervisor with the Be The Match. "We need to find those donors out there. We need to get them out there on the list. So, right now, we have 11 million donors on the registry right now, but only five out of 10 patients actually find a match. So about half. It's very crucial that we get out there and register as many people as we can to find a match for patients very quickly."

So far, Rivera has logged 40 miles and is on her way to achieving her goal.

 If you would like to keep up with her progress or if you would like to donate, Rivera has set up a Facebook page. Just click on this link.

For a list of recent stories Stephanie Serna has done, click here.

Click here to view more videos on KSAT.com.


About the Author: