Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Dublin Woman Donates Bone Marrow to


Jennifer Bellamy

@WMAZ 12/1/2010

For 22-year-old Dorrie Garner, life is full of golden opportunities. "I think that everybody is given gifts, and the purpose of those gifts is to turn around and help and love and strengthen those in need," said Garner.

The University of Georgia senior has found ways to give back though mission trips to Peru, Costa Rica, New York and Los Angeles, but managed to come across the chance to try and save someone dying from cancer while away at school.

Garner took a cheek swab test at UGA, and though others doubted her bone marrow would match up with someone in need, Garner knew better.

"I had people tell me 'you won't get a phone call' 'it's very rare, the statistics are very low that you'll get called' and I believed I would be called," recalled Garner laughing.

She says the National Marrow Donor Program flew her to Virginia for the six and a half hour non-surgical procedure, but before donating Garner spent her fall break getting ready. She says she had to have a medical injection that left her feeling weak and sore.

"It makes you kind of sick, it makes your bones hurt, but it's nothing in comparison to what cancer patients go through with chemotherapy," she said, describing the effects.

The National Marrow Donor Program says about 30 percent of people in need of a transplant can find a perfect match within their family, leaving about 70 percent to depend on the kindness of strangers or others for life-saving treatment.

Garner says she comes from a family involved in the medical profession with a father who works as a doctor, her mother a former nurse, and a brother in medical school. She says her family and friends supported her decision to try and help someone else.

"It's been a blessing," said Garner, "I think I've gotten more out of the experience than anyone." Lee Garner, Dorrie's mother, says she's proud of her daughter but knows she would say the story isn't about her. She says her daughter would want others to feel encouraged to sign up to donate bone marrow to others.

Dorrie says the preparing, undergoing and recovering took about 2 weeks. She says her professors appreciated what she did and gave her extensions that helped her get back on track with school.

Garner says she'll find out in a few weeks if the bone marrow she donated saved the life of a 52-year-old woman suffering from leukemia, but either way, the choice to try came easily.
"The idea that I can use something that I already have which is a healthy body, healthy blood, a cancer-free body to help someone just made sense to me I have it so why not give it out," said Garner.

Until she knows the outcome, she'll continue to pray for the healing of a woman she doesn't know, but cares for just the same.

If the transplant is successful, Garner says she can meet her recipient in one year if she agrees.