Transplant Survivor Finds Match For Another

Bone marrow drive finds match for patients in need

A Dallas woman who received a bone marrow transplant may never to donate herself, but she's doing everything she can to get more people on the National Marrow Donor Registry.

As a successful public relations professional and mother to a busy 2-year-old, Jo Trizila seems to have it all, but looking back she realizes her story is one that nearly wasn't told.

"We have a good ending. It's an unbelievably happy ending," said Trizila.

It was 1985, and in her 7th grade year book photo Jo wore a wig. She’d just had emergency brain surgery, but it was the side effects that nearly killed her.

"I just started bruising everywhere. It was almost a joke. You would push right there and a bruise would appear," said Trizila.

Doctors diagnosed her with aplastic anemia, and her best chance for survival was a bone marrow transplant from a relative.

"He was 10 years old; got tested," said Trizila. "My brother ended up being a perfect match."

The transplant made front page news.

27 years later, Trizila just turned 40. At her party there was a drive to get more people on the national registry organized by Love Hope Strength.

"We had the whole set-up, and it wasn't just my friends who came. It was also the people who were just in the bar having drinks that night who came over, because it's so simple to register. So simple, it's a cheek swab," said Trizila.

"A couple of weeks ago, I got an email saying somebody from that night matched and will save a life," said Trizila.

Right now, there are 10,000 people needing a bone marrow transplant in the United States and only half of them will find a match.


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