Donor, recipient meet for the first time - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

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Donor, recipient meet for the first time

It's a story of life, of hope, and of love. Bob Hogberg, of Marshall, was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2004, a year and a half later, his only hope, he received a bone marrow transplant. That transplant saved his life. For a year he didn't know who the person was-but as KLTV 7's Danielle Capper shows us he met his donor for the first time.

It was a day many thought would never come.

"We kept counting down the days until we got to talk to him. We talked to him a year from the day I donated and from that point I was like we've got to meet him," said Marc Heath.

Bob and Marc together at last. Sharing the bond of life. A second chance for one -given by the other.

"Because of Mark I am alive today. What more can you say?," said Bob.

In 2004, Bob was diagnosed with AML, a Leukemia in June of 2004. After going in and out of remission, he had run out of options to save his life.

"They told me I probably had 3 months to live if I didn't have proper treatment. That's quite door to slam on you at once," said Bob, "The bone marrow match is the only real answer i had for life.

The answer, Marc Heath, lived in Greensboro, North Carolina. The bone marrow drive he attended in college back in 2000 was a distant memory.

"From there I didn't think anything more about. Didn't know I was actually on the registry at all," said Marc, "I thought they didn't call me I'm not a match."

But then one day in 2005 the phone rang. Marc was a match for someone in Texas. 

"I told my wife I got to do this. I lost my grandfather to this I don't want someone else to lose theirs," said Marc.

In January of 2006 bone marrow from Marc was given to Bob. The procedures went well. After six months Bob was able to return to work and has been cancer free ever since.

"If you knew you were going to die and somebody came along and said i can save your life. How do you feel? that's what it is. I did not have much of a chance. But he said he was wiling to donate," said Bob, "So I'm here today. I owe him my life."

"It's just mindblowing to be able to meet somebody that because of you has now been able to see more of his grandkids and now has a chance to see more of life,: said Marc ,"It's indescribable." 

"This was his purpose. This was his purpose and God had the plan laid out and it's been fulfilled through Marc," said Bob. 

All it takes is one. There are 7 and a half million people in the national bone marrow registry but still many people cannot find matches. Seven people here in the tyler area *today need a match. If you would like more information http://www.marrow.org www.becauseicare.info  

Danielle Capper, Reporting dcapper@kltv.com  

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