Caitlin's Trip to Meet Phoenix, Her Bone Marrow Recipient
Organized by: Caitlin Mooney
April 19, 2016
Hey everyone! My name is Caitlin Mooney. I'm 25 and I live in Philadelphia. My story begins in Feb 2014 at a Flogging Molly concert. I signed up to be a bone marrow donor with Delete Blood Cancer DKMS in honor of my Aunt Kathy who died from leukemia.
Totally forgetting about registering, in the fall of 2014 I received a call from DKMS saying that I was a match to a baby boy under 1 that lived in the US. I was told he had multiple autoimmune disorders and that the only cure for him was a bone marrow transplant. I immediately asked what I had to do. How could I help this baby that I'd never met?
I had multiple blood tests and physicals done and was told I was a near perfect match. The surgery day was chosen for Dec 29th. I traveled to Georgetown University Hospital with my mother as my companion when the big day came. The doctors performed a simple, nearly painless surgery where the marrow was extracted from my hip bone. The very next day I was exploring DC and enjoying my mini vacation.
I received very little updates about the child I had just donated to. Was he alive? Had he died? What more could I do to help him?
Fast forward a year. I released my information to be sent to the recipient and his family. I was so excited to find out who this little boy was... My genetic twin. Then I received his information. He lives in San Francisco. His name is Phoenix. I immediately googled his name and found out even more. He was a healthy baby boy now! 1.5 years old! I sent a long message to his family and that night his mother, Kiki, responded. I couldn't stop crying. A few days later we did a video chat. Phoenix gave me a hug and kiss thru the screen. It was the greatest feeling ever.
So now I am planning on traveling to meet my little twin in San Francisco. An organization called S.A.M: Sharing America's Marrow is creating a documentary about bone marrow donation, to encourage others to register. I have the great opportunity to be apart of it. They want to film Phoenix and I and our "reunion". Unfortunately their budget only allows for them to pay for my airplane ticket out there. My mother will be flying with me and unfortunately flying from Philly to San Francisco and back is not a cheap flight. That's where you come in.
My planned trip is April 17th-April 24th. Anything you can contribute will go towards my flight and accommodations. I'll be taking plenty of pictures to document my journey to show what your donations helped me do. But most importantly I'll be able to spend time with the little boy who's life I was lucky enough to be able to save.
Thank you for all of your support!
All money that is received that is not used for trip expenses will be donated to Delete Blood Cancer DKMS. Please register at Deletebloodcancer.Org to be a potential bone marrow donor like me!