TU student donates bone marrow, saves woman’s life
TOWSON, Md. (June 20, 2006)—An Alabama woman owes her life to a TU student who says she took a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help somebody.”
Renee Ellis, a mother of two from Montgomery, Ala., met bone-marrow donor Diane Shaulis for the first time this week at a party in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s bone marrow transplant unit.
“I love you so much for doing this for me,” Ellis told the 22-year-old Shaulis.
Ellis was diagnosed with aplastic anemia two years ago and had been entirely dependent on blood transfusions. When the National Bone Marrow Donor Program identified Shaulis as a match, the student agreed to undergo a series of injections and an eight-hour procedure to have bone marrow cells removed from her blood and transplanted into Ellis.
The success of Ellis’ 18-month treatment prompted Shaulis’ visit to Birmingham for their joyous and tearful meeting. The two plan to spend a week together on the Gulf Coast.