Oklahoma Marrow Donor Meets Recipient 'Down Under'

Tuesday, November 1st 2011, 7:36 pm
By: News 9

Darren Brown, News 9

NORMAN, Oklahoma -- An Oklahoma woman's donation is changing the lives of a family thousands of miles away.

Linda Sexton registered as a bone marrow donor about ten years ago in an effort to help a neighbor.  She wasn't a match for that person but was contacted years later and informed that she was a match for someone else.  Sexton agreed to undergo surgery to donate, but was only told that her marrow was needed for an infant.

Two years later Sexton was offered a chance to communicate with the donor family.  She found that her marrow went to Rhiannon Carson, who was diagnosed with leukemia at four months.  Sexton and her husband John exchanged letters and e-mails for years, but traveled to Australia to meet them just last month.

"To finally get the chance to see her and her family was just amazing," said Sexton. "I got more huge long bear hugs than anyone deserves in a whole lifetime just in that one month."

Rhiannon Carson is seven years old now, and seeing the person she donated to had quite an effect on Sexton.  She claims she wouldn't hesitate to donate again if asked.

"You brush your teeth, you put on clean clothes, you give blood, and if you can you donate bone marrow," Sexton said.  "It's just one of those things in my value system and the way I look at life."