When he was 40 years old, Jack Zbiegien went to the doctor with what he thought was an earache. It turned out to be leukemia.
Over the course of 15 months, Jack received more than 300 blood transfusions and a bone marrow transplant that helped him beat cancer. Versiti investigators’ groundbreaking discoveries have helped make lifesaving bone marrow transplants possible, and blood donors quite literally saved Jack’s life.
“Without courageous blood and marrow donors, I would not be alive today,” Jack says. “I am so thankful to have a second chance at life.”
Now, Jack is part of the Versiti Blood Research Institute philanthropy board, where he is working to set up fundraising events that will help propel groundbreaking research that will help other patients like him. “I’m still able to go through surviving,” he says. “It’s a blessing.”
Many patients with life-threatening illnesses rely on bone marrow transplants.
The Be The Match marrow donor registry is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program and has been helping patients receive life-saving bone marrow transplants for nearly 30 years. Bone marrow transplants can help patients suffering from a variety of illnesses, including leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell disease.