The day a cancer survivor and his stem cell donor ran into each other at a marathon


Nine years ago, Boyd Dunleavy made an appointment to see why he was getting constant nosebleeds and bruising on his legs. He wasn’t sure what was going on, but knew he needed answers.

The results were ominous. He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a rare form of blood cancer. He was told he had less than a year to live — unless they quickly found a stem cell donor.

Dunleavy went through three rounds of chemotherapy. The cancer had to be in remission for the stem cell transplant to work. If it was, he then had to hope a donor became available. When no match was immediately found, he had two choices: go through two more rounds of chemotherapy and hope that gave him enough time for a donor and a transplant — or give up.

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