Kim and Bridger

Kim and Bridger

I want to take this opportunity to send out an update on a story that is near and dear to the Top Brands family. Back in 1999 our very own Kim Jenkins and members of her family registered as eligible bone marrow donors in hopes of being the match for a family member that was in need. Unfortunately, out of the hundreds of people that offered to donate their marrow, nobody was a match.

Several years passed and Kim’s information remained on the registry as an eligible donor.  In 2009 Kim received a call from the bone marrow registry that let her know that they had a possible match. After a series of tests, Kim found out that indeed she was a match and that the recipient was a 5 year old boy that needed a marrow transplant to combat a life threatening condition. Without hesitation, Kim agreed to be the donor.

On the day the transplant was scheduled to take place, the little guy came down with a virus and the procedure had to be postponed. They gave Kim the option to go ahead and perform the marrow extraction and then freeze it, but Kim knew from the information she was given that fresh bone marrow has a better chance of taking than frozen, so she agreed to reschedule In order to insure the best outcome.

After the extraction Kim was notified that her bone marrow was successfully transplanted to the little boy. Kim and the boy’s family exchanged letters and emails, but each party had to remain anonymous for one year due to the organizations privacy rules.

The day that the year was up, both Kim and they boy’s family immediately sought to connect with each other. Kim learned that the little boy’s name was Bridger, and that he lives in Texas. They shared pictures and were finally able to reach out and put a name and face to the people who had become such an integral part of their lives.

Since Kim and Bridger live in different parts of the country, they have only been able to meet in person a handful of times. This past week Kim and her family had the opportunity to enjoy spending some time in Chicago and at Kim’s home with Bridger and his family. Bridger is now 11 and has a little sister too, and like most boys of his age loves to play video games.

Since we shared Kim’s story several years ago, there has been an outpouring of support for Bridger and his family and several people have since joined the registry as eligible bone marrow donors. If you have the privilege to know Kim, you know what a generous and caring person she is. She acts as if it is no big deal, and doesn’t understand how anybody would not want to take the opportunity to save somebody’s life by registering to be a donor.

I think we could all benefit from this selfless way of thinking and encourage anybody who is able to join the bone marrow registry and be there in somebody else’s time of need.