CREVE COEUR, Mo. (KMOV.com) - Mollie Ring is a pediatric oncology nurse at Mercy Children’s Hospital. She likes building relationships with the young patients who come to the Cardinal Kids Cancer Center for treatment.
"You go through this journey with them, you laugh with them, you cry with them,” said Ring.
But Ring went above and beyond the normal duties of her job by signing up to be a bone marrow donor and several months later finding out she was a match.
“In the registry, there are in North America about 6 million potential donors that have signed up and registered. Typically we can find a couple, one, two or three that are adequate and if you're lucky you'll find one that is a perfect match,” said oncologist Dr. Rob Hanson.
Ring was a perfect match with a 30-year-old woman with acute Myeloid Leukemia. She and the recipient matched on 10 out of 10 of the criteria, a one-in-a-million chance. Finding a donor who’s a perfect match reduces the risk of rejection.
The name and the city where the recipient lives are kept confidential, but Ring traveled to Washington D. C. for the procedure.
"So the injections hurt. I had to get a total of 10 injections which stimulate your stem cells,” said Ring.
The side effects from the injections are bone pain, headaches and feeling like a person’s coming down with the flu. She said the pain and discomfort gave her a better perspective on the experiences that patients go through.
"I think it is so cool you can be a complete stranger and be a 10 out of 10 match and save their life," said Ring.
After one year, donors and recipients are allowed to meet if both agree. Ring said she definitely wants to meet the woman who received her bone marrow.
To learn more about bone marrow donors, click here.