Bone Marrow Recipient Meets Man Who Saved His Life A Decade Ago

Bone Marrow Recipient Meets Man Who Saved His Life A Decade Ago

Friday August 22, 2008

What if you were asked to undergo a procedure to help save the life of someone you didn’t even know? And how would you feel if your contribution did just that?

Keith Murray can answer that question. The New Brunswick man came out of nowhere to save Brampton resident Eric Perron. But the duo had never met each other until Friday.

The story of how Murray and Perron became forever intertwined is a heart tugging tale of sacrifice and a simple act that was anything but.

It started in 1998 when leukemia patient Perron received a desperately needed bone marrow donation from Murray, a gift that wound up saving his life. For 10 years, neither man had ever met face-to-face. But when the east coast resident emerged from the doors at Pearson International Airport in the afternoon it was like they’d known each other forever.

“He’s part of the family,” Perron laughs, as he hugs his hero. “I’m very happy that he’s here.”

Murray doesn’t consider himself anything special. He was a regular blood donor until a friend from Newfoundland told him about the bone marrow program. And he didn’t hesitate to join up.

Little did he know he’d soon provide a match and give the 42-year-old Perron his second chance.

“This happened as just a matter of a regular blood donation,” he recounts. “I was told I was a positive match and so we got pretty excited about the idea of being able to contribute to someone that was in deep need of some bone marrow.”

But Perron, who now has a newborn child that wouldn’t have been here without Murray’s vital contribution, knows his new friend has changed his life. “I was lucky,” the recipient admits. “I have a brother and two sisters. They were not compatible with me.”

But Murray was and he wants his reward to be others getting involved in the One Match program. To find out how, click here.

Meanwhile, the two connected families are planning a champagne dinner and a night on the town – all on Perron, of course. It is, after all, the least he can do.

“There’s no chance I can survive without help, right?” he asks rhetorically. “And I’ve been lucky to have someone matching and right now I’m here because of that.”

“It’s important that people understand that it’s a painless program,” Murray concludes, looking at his beaming friend. 

“And the rewards are unbelievable.”





B.C. Metro News – July 10 2008

Stem cells needed

Kristen Thompson, Metro Vancouver
10 July 2008 02:31
Photo courtesy of Susana Junk

Carolyn Tam, left, and Susana Junk. Junk is helping organize a stem cell drive to help Tam in her fight against leukemia.

The Vancouver friends and family of a Toronto woman battling leukemia hope a stem cell drive, being held on Sunday, will help find the rare and much-needed match their ailing friend requires.
Carolyn Tam, 37, has been battling leukemia since 2006, and is in dire need of a bone marrow transplant.
The problem, said childhood friend Susana Junk, who lives in Vancouver, is that Tam needs a donor of Chinese descent, which is difficult because ethnic minorities are underrepresented in the donor registry.
Junk said while Caucasians have a 70-85 per cent chance of finding a match, the likelihood drops to five per cent for Chinese patients because so few Chinese are registered as donors.
“Asians are not really too aware of the stem cell donating process,” said Junk. “It’s simple. Register not just for Carolyn, but for other people in her situation.”
Sunday’s drive will provide on-site testing and the opportunity for people to sign others up for the bone marrow registry.
A previous drive held in Vancouver on June 14 tested 820 people. On the same day in Ontario, 1,500 showed up at four drives.

Janet Ko, leukemia survivor, urges you to become a registered donor

English with Mandarin translation

English with Cantonese translation

T.O. Metro News – June 15 2008

Thousands across the GTA aid bone marrow search.

Metro Vancouver Article, June 15 2008

Click here to register online today at to become a stem cell donor


T.O Metro News – June 11 2008

Stem cell match needed

Click here to register online today at to become a stem cell donor