I would thank you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart has no bottom.
~ Author Unknown ~
Dear Lea's Donor, Thank you for your Gift Of Life. There are no
words to express my Gratitude for your decision to give Lea The Rest Of Her Life Back. You were able to reach out to save my daughter's life when you were dealing with your own loss. Thank you! Forever grateful, Ginny Wedge
Dear Donor I am Lea’s husband, Billy. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the gift of life that you have given Lea. There is no doubt, in my mind, that we would have lost Lea to leukemia in the past year if you hadn’t selflessly offered your bone marrow to her. I will never forget the moment when the nurses walked into Lea’s hospital room with your bone marrow in a small cooler. It was a true gift of life. I have pictures of the transplant on my Facebook page. I don’t know if you use the Internet much or even know what Facebook is but if you do, and you’d like to see the
pictures, you can do so by clicking on the following link: http://tinyurl.com/5qcb58 I know that what you went through to donate was painful and an incredibly unpleasant experience. I want you to know that Lea and I will be eternally grateful for all that you’ve done for us. Today, it is early November, around a year to the day that we left our home in San Francisco to move to Seattle for the transplant. Lea is doing extremely well. She is officially leukemia free. She has been since last February/March. She is still recovering from all of the chemotherapy that she had before the transplant. Her hair is slowly growing back and she is recovering and getting stronger every day. She is able to hike and tries to get a workout of some type in every day. She is not working yet but she is taking care of our dog, Kimo, and still has plenty of doctors’ appointments each week. In fact, we are getting ready to go back to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle for Lea’s one year checkup in about a month and will be thinking of you once again during that trip.
There aren’t many days that go by that we don’t thank God for your gift of life. We do hope to meet you at some point in the future, if that is something that you would be open to. Lea and I would both like to thank you in person for the sacrifice that you made to save her life. If you don’t want to meet in person, for any reason, though, please know that we will understand and respect your privacy. If you would like to know more about Lea’s journey over the past three years since her diagnosis, however, you can do so at Lea’s caring bridge website listed here: www.caringbridge.org/visit/leamorrison. Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have completed an amazing and courageous act of kindness and generosity that will never be forgotten by Lea or me. Eternally grateful, Billy Morrison
I've never known life without Lea. She's my big sister, my closest friend and has been the most consistent element in an otherwise varied and at times wonderfully chaotic life. I was there when she graduated elementary school, high school and college. I've known all her boyfriends, best friends, struggles and
triumphs. I even walked her down the isle to her husband. I've always known her fears, her hopes and her dreams. I've been there every single step of the way... but I wasn't a match for her as a bone marrow donor. Learning that was a moment that was as hurtful as the night we heard the word "leukemia." I couldn't be there for her. But you were. You saved her life. You gave
me my sister back.
Lea's always been a She's a
survivor... long before cancer.
tough, independent, strong woman. But she couldn't do this alone, and you were there. THANK YOU for your sacrifice, for your compassion and for your marrow! As our lives move forward, I am comforted knowing that my big sister will be with me in our journey.
Adversity is the stage on which character performs... and we know that you have suffered your own challenges, your own losses. In that moment of challenge, when you undoubtedly were hurt, tired and sad you made a decision to give. That was a powerful moment, and one that I think of often.
You gave your time, your energy, your pain, and your marrow, so "someone" may live. You gave hope when there was none. You gave comfort where it was desperately needed. You gave life to someone who richly deserved it. Gratitude is something better shown than written. I hope someday to show you our appreciation for your gift. Because of Thank you! you, I have my sister. With great respect, Brian Wedge
Dearest Lea, As your Re-Birthday is fast approaching on
December 12th, we are overwhelmed with gratitude for what you have added to our family since marrying Billy in 2005! the LIGHT of his life! I was privileged to be with you and Billy in Seattle as you prepared for and received this gift of life from your special donor last December. Words do not come easily when To share trying to describe those feelings. treasure forever. You are
those weeks with you both is something I will We were so filled with gratitude for her during this holiday season. To this wonderful 37 year old donor we can simply say THANK YOU for providing this gift to Lea and giving her a chance for a long and healthy life. We can only hope you will meet Lea in person and see the light that shines through her thanks to YOU! With love and gratitude, Susie and Rick Mayer
Dear Donor Thank you so much for your sacrifice and service you have given in being Lea's bone marrow donor. To have Lea in our lives is a true blessing and without you none of this could have been done. Thank you from my heart and know that you are a wonderful person and have touched the lives of many with your love and compassion. Peace and Love, Michael Morrison
Dear Donor I won't even pretend I have the words to honor you and the miraculous gift you have shared with our beloved Lea. Humbly, I will send my heartfelt thoughts to your heart. May you have a thousand flowers at your feet; may blessings fall upon you and yours like a gentle snow; may you rejoice in the warmth of all the hugs and love we hold you dear with; may the treasure you are and have so unselfishly given return to you many times over in ways that lift and light your life; may you have the best of chocolate; may our prayers keep you safe and accompany you on your journey; may our good wishes be music to your spirit; may our gratefulness shine upon your soul and may the wondrous smiles you have brought to our hearts for Lea's healing reflect back to you in pure joy. We love you and want you to know that every cell in Lea's body is a ray of sunshine that she shares with humanity. You are a force of
community and compassion for our peoples, and you are in our heartbeats forever. Aunt Melinda
Dear Donor, Thank you for the unbelievably wonderful gift that you gave to Lea. She is a beautiful, energetic and bright young woman who now has a good chance for a normal, cancer free life. You are a special, generous, loving person that is a role model for everyone.
Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU Bill Morrison, Father in law
The overwhelming emotion I feel while attempting to type this letter exemplifies minimally the gratitude I have towards Lea's donor. Lea has been a dear friend of mine for several years now. She has always defined strength and perseverance. Knowing her and her family has enriched my life tremendously. When I received her call explaining that she was diagnosed with CML I could not breath, speak or move. I was terrified for her and it took me a little time to compose myself so I could be a source of strength for her. I never wanted her to
doubt that she "would make it through this". And honestly, I thought it had to be a mistake. How could this pillar of health be carrying this disease? Inevitably, her CML needed to be tackled head on. The changes in her life would be substantial. Not easy for anyone, not easy for a woman who lives for the outdoors, traveling and being a substantial volunteer in everyday life. Not easy for a woman who just celebrated her wedding only 6 months ago. As Lea does with everything in her life. She stood tall, researched the hell out of every option and made sure she would do all that was possible to get through this. CML did not realize it had one hell of a fight on its hands. She shared her daily struggle with more dignity than I know possible. She remained the endless caregiver until it was simply time to devote all her energy to recovery. And even then she apologized. On December 12th you made it possible for her to receive the biggest gift. A gift no one ever expects at 34 years of age. The gift of life. You opened your heart in a difficult
time and provided my friend with an invaluable donation. You gave her the chance to grow old with her beautiful, supportive husband Billy. To share many more laughs with her outstanding family and to endlessly spoil her dog Kimo and one day she and I will be standing in Italy saying "holy sh*t", we made it! I thank you from the bottom of my heart! Jill Ort
Dear friend, Your gift to Lea has reached more lives than you can imagine. And though neither my husband nor I have ever met Lea -- or you -our lives are forever intertwined.
My husband, Rob Glatts, was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia on May 21, 2002. His disease was fairly advanced and we As time went on, were, of course, terrified.
it became clear that the standard treatment was not working and Rob relapsed fast and hard. We had two young boys at the time, ages When 2 and 4, with another baby on the way.
we received the call from Rob's doctor that a donor had been found, it gave us that glimmer of hope we needed to keep marching forward with a positive spirit. Rob received his life-giving cells on September 23, 2003. In 2004, we were blessed to meet our donor, a wonderful man from Rhode Island. neighbor fighting leukemia. did not survive. He joined the registry in an effort to help a young Sadly, that boy But out of that tragedy, my
husband's life was saved and a lifelong friendship was established with our donor. On behalf of all transplant recipients, we thank you. met. We thank you for stepping up to the plate to save someone you'd never We thank you for going through the time, discomfort and pain that you endured during the donation process. We thank you for giving hope to Lea and to others facing
It is thanks to someone like you
that we, Lea and many other families, are able to spend another day with the people that we love. Thank you for saving Lea's life and touching so many of us. Love and hope, Kelly Harless and Robert Glatts You are an angel to us all.
Dear Beautiful Woman, I know you are an amazing woman with out knowing too much about you, but simply from hearing the basics of your story through Lea. It would have been so easy and
understandable for you to pull inward after the incredibly tragic loss of your child, but you did not, instead you went out to the world to give more of yourself. This is proof to me that you are an amazing human being. You have in fact given birth, or re-birth to one of the most beautiful spirits, how many people can claim that? I know Lea by my involvement with the Team in Training Hike Team; after a season of fund raising myself I became the "Honoree Captain" the following season. Lea was one of our Honorees, her role was to bring a human face and a real life story to the many people who were raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; my role was to bring the stories and honorees to the team. Lea. In this way I got to know I have followed her blogs on Glamour and
Caring Bridge and have been so utterly amazed at her incredibly positive attitude under such challenging circumstances. She has not taken your incredible gift for granted; her gratitude comes through in every entry she writes. I am thrilled that you and Lea will finally be able to connect to see your beautiful spirits reflected by each
The gift of life you have given
is immeasurable and I truly hope and believe that this will come back to you ten fold. Please know that wherever you go, what ever you do you have so many people who are grateful to you! With love and best wishes Laura Griffith
Dear Donor You are an inspiration to all of us. There
aren't too many people left who would take time away from an otherwise busy life to help a stranger. I'm not sure your religious belief, but you are an awesome example of
Christ! Although I haven't done it yet, this has inspired me to become a donor and get on the registry. Although, I have never met Lea, I read her website all the time, and feel close to her as one of my best friends (Gillian) had a transplant last year for the same type of leukemia. Lea and Gillian have been friends through the entire process. them. Both are very strong and have a long life ahead of Gillian was lucky and her sister was a match, where Lea needed you! Thank you so much for answering the call and being willing to help! Love - Heather Moya
Dear Donor, Thank you. Your bone marrow gift to Lea is incredible. Your amazing, courageous, and selfless act has
given Lea and her family and her friends enormous happiness. Some words that come to mind when describing Lea are: kind, thoughtful, determined, motivated, generous, fun, and happy. I imagine that those words could describe you as well. As one of Lea’s friends, I want you to know that I deeply appreciate your thoughtfulness. I wish you well in your life. Thank You, Ginny Morsman
“Be glad of life because it gives us the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.” Henry Van Dyke Dearest Donor Angel, As I am standing in line to vote, I am struck by how many different types of people surround me. Their eyes, their hair, their smiles all
intrigue me as I wonder if one of them is my stem cell match and we just don't know it yet. In this crowd I also seek your face and wonder about you and the gift you so lovingly gave to dear Lea. What brings us together for a moment or a lifetime, how is it that we could possibly share a DNA match with a stranger? You are a blessing to millions by your donation to Lea, and most importantly your example to others to become a donor. In life we connect to one another in our brokenness, as our broken hearts reach out we heal and are stronger in with our connections to each other. Go in peace and know we send you blessings and thanks. Rhonda Radliff
Dear Donor, Your gift of life is generous and selfless. Thank you so much for giving of yourself so that someone else may enjoy life. I am the parent of a child who had a bone marrow transplant from an anonymous donor. We are forever grateful that there are people out there, like you, who give so unconditionally. Barb Neddo, Mom to Tom, 19, Matched Unrelated Donor Bone Marrow Transplant 5/05/05, cancer free!
Dear Donor I have tears in my eyes yet again but this time it’s because on December 12th Lea will be celebrating and it’s all because of you. You are a true angel! You are a blessing and I hope you know how much all of Lea’s friends and family love you even though we have never met you. There is a part of you in Lea, so with that being said we will have all a chance to give you a hug when embracing Lea. Much love, Jennifer, Bruce, Raya, Jordyn, and Hayden Sawle
To a very awesome person, I want to first thank you from the bottom of my heart for such a selfless act you did for such an awesome woman. Lea and I met on line because we both had the same disease and we ended up within months of each other getting our bone marrow transplant. I remember finding out that she had a great match but you were having a hard time in your life. I cannot imagine having to mourn the loss of a child and then getting that letter in the mail saying how you could save someone's life! You are such an awesome and incredible person and I hope you will see how many people are thankful to you for saving such an incredibly fantastic woman! Thank you for giving Lea your beautiful bone marrow cells so she could kick some CML butt! May many great things come to you!
Sincerely, Gillian Koch BMT/CML 7-2007
Dear Donor, Just as Lea has not met you, I have not met Lea.... well not in person, anyway! But I know she is a dear, sweet, strong soul from her postings on various sites and her personal email to me. I am certain, dear donor, that you too are a dear, sweet, strong soul! I am sure it took a lot of courage to become a donor especially during the time when you were grieving a loss. Thank you, dear donor, for taking that leap to
become a donor for Lea. May you be blessed, JoAnn
Dear Donor, I can't tell you how much it means to those of us needing a transplant to have total strangers offering to help. I thank you. My sister was my donor, and I was very fortunate. I can't imagine waiting for a stranger to step up and save my life. You are so precious to all of us. Hero in every sense of the word. You are a As a bmt patient,
God Bless You Take care, Michelle BMT for CML 9/96, sister donor and doing great!
Dear Donor, I worked at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for 16 years as Patient Services Manager before retiring last December. I was very aware of Lea's search for a donor and did not know that she had found one and had received the transplant! Marrow donors are true heroes and when they are anonymous volunteers, even more so. I
thank the donor from the bottom of my heart for the sacrifice you have made for our friend Lea and her husband Billy. Sincerely, Shirley McGrath To the wonderful woman who donated bone marrow to save Lea: I taught with Lea at Crocker Middle School when she was suddenly taken away from us with the diagnosis of leukemia. I just want you to know that your generosity not only saved Lea and her wonderful husband, friends and family, but the students who benefited from her skilled teaching. She was loved by her students and they gave extra effort to meet her rigorous standards and gain her praise. Most of the young girls in her classes saw her as a role model: a tall, bright marathon runner with compassion, beauty, and a love of life that was contagious.
Parents and teachers at our school loved that such a person inspired their children. I cannot wait for her return with your strong healthy cells allowing her to go on offering such an education to our kids. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Donna Hower Teacher and parent
Your unselfish act, and not a simple one, has given to Lea, her family, friends, and those of us who have been touched by her, something that can never be expressed, it can only be felt from the heart! Your act has brought so much joy, reinforced faith and given so much love. In October 2004, my husband Mark went through a bone marrow transplant at UW Medical Center
too. He is a survivor also, just like Lea, and it ’s only because you, like Don, Mark’s donor, put everything else (life) above any discomfort you experienced. One year later, October 2005, we met Don and have become lifelong friends. Like you and Lea, they are blood-related, brothers if you will. Hopefully, he will always know how much his act means to us. We share your connection with Lea; we too, will always feel a connection, your love for life! May God bless you a hundred times over! Wishing many years of life, love, and happiness to you and your family! Cheers, Katrina & Mark Sharp
Thanks to you Donor and donors everywhere for a most unselfish act. My wife Lynn is going through a BMT this week and today is day -7. While she was fortunate in that her sister was a match and could donate, many others are solely dependant upon complete strangers for the life saving stem cells. My hat is off to all of you. George McClain
Thank you Lea's Donor, I have known Lea since we played soccer and basketball together back in high school, we worked at the same coffee shop and we both were diagnosed with leukemia. I am doing well. My three-year anniversary is in February and I feel blessed every day that my only sibling, despite a 25% chance of matching, was a perfect match. I needed him to donate twice, I don't think - you 9 months apart to save my life. saved her life! Without a bone marrow transplant I wouldn’t be here and Lea would be very sick. It is the gift of life you and your fellow donors provide us, it is completely selfless and they don't let you know how important it is, because it is so important! Thanks again and please encourage your friends and family to get on the list! I am a two-time bone marrow transplant survivor, and
you realize what you've done for Lea
Love, Erin McCabe
To a truly wonderful Lady You have given so much more than words can say. You have started ripples in a pond that reach far beyond our imagination. deeper than that. Lea is a seriously wonderful person who will now continue to brighten many lives because of you. In my eyes, you are a true Hero and an To say Thank You does not say it well enough – it runs much
incredible person - you have made a deep difference in my life by helping to keep Lea alive. Thank you so very much.
Love and light Annie (Steven’s mom)
Dear Donor, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the tremendous gift you have given to me and to all of Lea’s family, loved ones, friends, and acquaintances, as well as all of the future people who will get to know her through the rest of her life… I know you have never met Lea, but I have been honored to know her for the last 8 years, and these are just a few of the memories of her that make her extraordinarily special that I
thought you might like to hear about: She has the most amazing smile that lights up a room; she has huge blue eyes that sparkle like a leprechaun and she gets “brown as a berry” in the summer; she is very preppy (loves dolphins and lobsters on her flip-flops and belts – perfect for summers on the East Coast!); she is the least pretentious or uptight person you will ever meet –rather the most laid-back and loving; she loves… BBQ ribs and swamp waters; Maine in the summer and Tahoe in the winter; fireworks on a dock for the 4th of July and Palm Springs when it is 112 degrees outside; Golden Retrievers and Labradors, and time spent with friends. What I look forward to, because of your gift, is a lifetime of friendship and memories with Lea as well as introducing her to my wife Julie and son Bryden. Thank you! John Paul Ditty
Dear Lea’s Donor I wanted to write and send you my thanks and gratitude for your selflessness in donating your bone marrow to help my dear friend, Lea Morrison. Lea and I met about 6 years ago, when we both signed up to complete our first triathlon with
the Leukemia Society’s Team in Training. swim, bike and run practices together. saw me through some tough workouts and
and I became close friends, often doing our
discouraging days and she always had a bright, shining smile on her face and the perfect word of encouragement. I’ll never forget when we did the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon together. It was daunting to jump off the ferry into the cold San Francisco Bay waters, but we did it together and had an amazing day. It was heart-breaking to hear of Lea’s diagnosis and we began to pray that she’d find a perfect match for a transplant. Since the beginning of this journey, Lea has maintained that optimism and perseverance that I’ve come to know through triathlon. Hearing that she’d found the perfect match was unbelievable news - you are our answer to prayer! Thank you for taking time to sign up for the donor registry and thank you for being willing to donate for Lea. I was sorry to hear of the loss you experienced before becoming a donor and I want you to know that you have blessed
Lea’s life and the lives of countless others who love and pray for her. selfless act. Many Blessings, Christie Valenzona Thank you for your life-giving,
Dear Lea It is Susan here from London. Lea, it is so
wonderful to have made friends with you albeit through such strange circumstances. Thank goodness for the internet, we can research our diseases, donors can be found and donations can be organized and you and I can be friends and support each other. That is truly wonderful. For me and I think for you it has
been so nice to just drop each other a line and say hi. friendship. It is so hard to put into words what we want to say to our donors. It is just as hard whether they are strangers or family. Having watched my sister donate for me thinking about a stranger donating sends shivers down my back. It is a truly selfless act. There are no words but I am certain that they will be thrilled to keep abreast of your treatment. Lea and Billy, keep going and going, be healthy and happy. I also found Shira through the internet and as you know that is a wonderful
It’s impossible to put into words a "thank
you" to the person that gave a gift that has allowed a person so important to all of us to have another chance at life. Please remind yourself, throughout your own challenges and hard times, of the immeasurable amount of joy and hope that you have been able to spread. None of us ever really fully knows how many people we will affect in our lives, but in the decision you made to be a donor, I want you to see some part of how you have, exponentially, increased that through your own life and Lea's life. As Lea's college room mate, I can tell you that she is a person who has always lived to serve, encourage and inspire others, even from a young age. She has always had a wisdom and In selflessness that drew others to her.
fact, when I was diagnosed with Lymphoma after my junior year, Lea's friendship was a primary reason that my mother allowed me to go back to school while I was continuing treatments. Because of my own medical history, I could not be a donor. It is a blessing to know that a complete stranger would be willing to give of themselves at the most critical time in her
life. I truly hope that what you've done inspires many others to consider doing the same. and many, many Happy New Years to come. Cheryl Buchanan I wish you all of the best this holiday season
Dear Donor, What you have done is amazing, so selfless. person. You couldn't have helped a better I haven't seen Lea since high school
but she seems to be the same positive, energetic and amazing person despite her health issues. When I heard she was sick I I thought she has to be couldn't believe it.
the healthiest person I know. Thank you for helping out a great girl!! She'll make you proud just like she has the rest of us! With deepest thanks and respect! Melissa Morris
Dear donor I hope you know that what you did for Lea was a completely selfless thing. I know you were going through your own hard times, but your actions helped saved a woman who is vibrant and full of life. say. I only worked with Lea for a brief time before we ended up at different ends of the country, but in just that short time I saw how amazingly passionate she was about life, friends and family and this world is a better place with someone like her in it. So thank you, thank you for thinking about someone else and helping them live. Even during her illness she seemed to always have something cheerful to
Crystal Kyles Falmouth, Maine Dear Donor Being an outside observer of what Lea & Billy have undergone in the past year and since discovering her Cancer has been truly amazing... I can remember early on, when she was still trying out various drugs to treat the disease, Lea had a feeling that she would end up needing a transplant. literally saved Lea. She has been so courageous and strong throughout the entire process, but I think what has overwhelmed her most was the gift of life that a complete and total stranger offered to her. This has been the most beautiful experience, from that standpoint, to watch as an outside perspective. Renews one's faith in humanity It was nothing short of a miracle that you came into their lives and
and world. Lori MacLeod To Lea's marrow donor I have known Lea ever since she joined our support group for CML patients. We have corresponded often and I have followed her history soon after her diagnosis, and throughout her waiting for a donor. Just when everything looked bleak and it looked like she might not even have a donor, an angel appeared. I would like to thank you If you had for saving Lea's life, literally.
not shown up when you did, her transplant would have had to be postponed while the search went on for a donor. We in our group have all come to know and love Lea and her husband Billy, who was such a support to her. We were only able to send notes, but he was physically there to take care of her needs. I know that Lea is anxiously awaiting the day that she will be able to contact you and
We are all looking forward
to hearing about that special occasion. Blessings to you and yours, Lottie Duthlu
To God's Gift for Lea, Thank you for giving time out of your own personal life to give Lea many, many more years to her own life. Through the cml support groups that I have been a part of, I have learned just how much is asked of the donor. You have chosen to go And beyond your call of duty in God's world.
I can't express in words alone how grateful I am for you, so I am sending you a huge cyber hug.
Lea has been an inspiration to me because of her strength to fight on to beat cml by going the transplant road. I pray for her and especially you for giving her the chance to have a successful transplant. God Bless, Jackie Schneider
Wow, what a wonderful opportunity to thank a perfect stranger for such a powerful gift. shared a PO Box with Lea for 4 years in college. mail. I was privy to all of the personal things that come along with your daily We were not the closest of girlfriends, but when I heard about Lea’s cancer…I instantly reached through the decade of elapsed time to talk to her. I am a different person because of Lea’s illness. I do hope the following adequately expresses the impact your gift has had on I
those who know and love her. Who she was then: The bubbly girl who was all smiles, who bounced around campus, who knew everyone, who always cared about how you were doing, funny, energetic and a “wicked” cool soccer goalkeeper. Who she is today: An inspiration to
absolutely everyone who knows her. Your gift of life has not only saved hers, it has enriched ours. future. Your gift has filled us all with hope and positive energy for the Everyday, Lea reinforces our faith in The power of the human spirit – the human experience and the power of the human spirit. it’s an unbelievably amazing “muscle” that Lea has taught each of us how to exercise daily. It’s so easy to get caught up in the blah details of daily life. Your gift has given Lea the continued energy to remind and empower an untold number of people the human spirit can really conquer all. Her daily accounts of the nasty toils she experiences are always, always, always concluded with words of hope, appreciation and faith.
The goodwill with which she relates to her cancer and recovery, well….it is the stuff of miracles, angels, magic and luck combined together and sprinkled on audience of connected strangers. For this gift, Ms. Donor to Lea and Lea, we are all better people because of each of you. Thanks so much for the opportunity to tell you what you mean to me. Alisha
To Lea's Donor, and to Lea: Thank you both so much for being who you are! Lea's Donor (LD), you can't possibly know what a gift Lea herself has been to the CML community - and this letter will only be my
best attempt to thank you, whole-heartedly, for your unselfish gift to her. Because of you, I have been able to follow Lea's progression from being very ill to, quite possibly, being cured. Lea is a light in our life - she is such a kind, sharing, and giving-of-herself human being - even when she has been at the lowest imaginable depths of life, where another might have just succumbed to total darkness and depression. Lea has surged towards light and love and has offered hope and inspiration to others who are still victims of CML - such as my own 21-yrold daughter. Lea has given me hope that one day, should my own daughter have to face a transplant, she will survive and do it with grace, as our own Lea has. You need to know, LD, that you yourself are remarkably like Lea: you, too, have given a gift beyond imagining when you were also at some pretty sad times in your own life. You are a treasure, and I thank you!
Love, Debbie (Laura's mom)
Dear Lea’s Donor, I am one of Lea’s on-line CML buddies from Asia. My husband was also diagnosed with
Lea’s disease in 2002.
I got to know Lea
through our support group and was at once impressed by her intelligence, courage and compassion. Lea ran marathons; she was physically very fit but was then unfortunately diagnosed with leukemia. Moreover, when 80% of patients respond to drugs for this kind of leukemia, Lea’s disease proved stubborn and she failed two drug therapies. She and her husband, Billy, were apprehensive because if the leukemia did not reach remission, the disease would progress to the terminal stage. Lea is very young with so many dreams. If you
had not donated your marrow and saved her life, Lea would be facing an uncertain and scary future. You have made Lea and Billy dream again of a wonderful future. I wish to thank you so much for giving Lea life. Lea means so much to me and I look forward to seeing her in Singapore one day soon with her husband, Billy. Even during the darkest hour of transplant, Lea was supporting others stricken with the
same disease. her donor.
She is very special and it is
only natural that a special person like you is
May you and your husband have all your dreams come true like you have made my dream of meeting Lea possible. of my heart. Dr. Anjana Rai Chaudhuri, Wife of CML patient Republic of Singapore Thanks from the bottom
To Lea’s Donor My name is Teresa Boos and Lea and I met because of our similar diagnosis and both needing a bone marrow transplant. been blessed with. I had my transplant almost one year prior to Lea having her transplant. choosing to save our life. But you did! and traveled. We both were given You didn’t have to “new life” because of a complete stranger do it, just as my donor didn’t have to do it. You chose the path less taken You chose the path to life! Without you, we would not have the friendship we both have
I have heard a few details regarding your own difficulty in losing a child. for your loss. I’m truly sorry You could have so easily
tucked away, pulled out of society and just kept to yourself, allowing your heart time to grieve. But you didn’t! You were contacted by professionals telling you someone out there needed you - that someone’s life depended on you. And, you answered the call. Probably because my own life depended So As I type this, many emotions well up inside of me. on someone doing exactly what you did.
unselfishly, so amazingly, so miraculously, you stepped forward. Thank God for you!
As you will soon learn, Lea has inspired many around her. She opened her life up to Some of those people may thousands of people.
have been traveling a difficult path as well. She was able to give them hope in the midst of her own struggle and journey. Both of you will find strength and hope in each other. I envy you. You will have a friendship, a sisterhood, that none of us will ever have with Lea. You and she will be like twins…feeling each other’s pain, joy, life, because you are internally connected in a way no one else can be. you. Wow! doesn’t exist? You are her….and she is How can anyone ever say God He does!
May God bless you for all you’ve done and for all you will continue to do for Lea. No Fear! 2 Tim 1:7
Teresa Boos Hays, Kansas
Lea's Donor Character is habit long continued. core of your character. Giving and selflessness must be at the Your decision to join the registry some fifteen years ago has made an impact that one could have never been contemplated. itself. Clearly, you have given the gift of life to Lea, which is reward in By doing so, you have shared your life with a person who shared your character in advance of sharing your bone marrow. Though, your gift has helped more than just one life. Both of your stories have highlighted the great heights we can reach from the valleys in life, the opportunities and not the limitations in life, and the need to focus on what we can give instead of what we need. Lea’s messages and notes have been inspiring to me and thousands of others and this would not have been possible without your gift some fifteen years ago and your willingness during your time of need to help an unknown stranger and give Lea the transplant.
Thank you for your gift to Lea and for being a role model to all of us. Jeff Bennett
To one Awesome Woman from the fans of another Awesome Woman, I'm guessing that when you signed up for the bone marrow registry, you didn't imagine the many events that would lead to becoming a donor and saving a life, but it's happened and we are so thankful to you and your strong cells. :-) I'm sure you know what a difference you've made and, as part of an organization that relies on people like you, I love hearing about successes like yours and Lea's.
Thank you from all of us! Debbie Wylie The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Hi Lea, I am glad you are here to celebrate your first re-birthday. I love you, I miss you! love, Carol Banks
Thank you to a wonderful young woman who unselfishly gave of herself to save the life
of another lovely young woman whom we have become so very fond of during the past year plus. God Bless You. Diane Barisas
Thank you so much for your gift of life for dear Lea. Lea is the first person, other than family and friends, who supported me with my own cancer diagnosis. If anyone deserves a chance at a cure it is certainly Lea.
You, dear donor, have made this wish a true possibility. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Sarah Greatrix
Dear Special Donor. I am Lea's transplant buddy assigned through BMT Infonet. the donor pool. She was given my name about 4 months before you were found through We have been quite close for the last year and a half......... she is so
special to me.
I traveled to Seattle to meet Even though I am
her at the Hutch during her recovery period after her transplant. older, age 62, there is something special with our bond because we have been through so much of the same struggles. I am now 6 1/2 years post SCT and am still in touch with my donor Silvia in Germany.......... I was so excited to visit Silvia after the 2 year wait required for international donors and give her a personal hug of thanks and gifts from Oregon... To this day we are still in touch with a translator helping with the language difficulties...I truly would not be alive today if it were not for my donor who so unselfishly came forth in record time because I was in "blast crisis" and had a very short time to live. I have tried to be Lea's mentor, supporter when she goes through her frantic worry stages, and friend. She in turn is always tuned into my Caringbridge site and events within my family. I am so blessed our paths have connected and a special friendship has developed. I have many more
stories to share about meeting other donors such as yourself and how people like you have made such a difference in the world. about you and your generosity. With my gratitude, Jeannie Matthews Medford Oregon I welcome the day you two can meet and we in turn can learn more
To Lea’s Donor, Thanks you from the bottom of my heart and from the many parents whose children may have Lea for a teacher and from the many children who may some day be in Lea’s classroom. She is an amazing young woman just starting a new life, involved in her career and looking to start a family with her new husband when her life was side tracked by leukemia. The life-
threatening diagnosis must have been devastating. When she heard that she may have a donor, a stranger willing to give her the one chance to return to her life, she shared the news with renewed enthusiasm. diagnosis. I am one of the lucky teachers who worked with Lea before her Students loved her and parents hoped that their children could work with her. You have given a gift of life to Lea, and a gift of love and an enriched life to her former and future students. The world needs more people like you. Thank You, Donna Hower Teacher, Crocker Middle School
Dear Lifesaver, I have gotten to know Lea through the Leukemia and Lymphoma website. I am also the recipient
of a transplant. The impact of what you have done can never be measured. You've allowed a good person to Lea continue her life, to be there for her family, to be an example of perseverance to many. has been a wonderful supporter to others on the LLS website. process. She shares her experiences with others and it helps them through the It is vital that we have people like Lea to lend her advise and experience to others who are going through transplants. Thank you for giving Lea a second chance at life. May God bless you and your family for many years to come. Kelly Read Edgewood, KY Leukemia (AML) survivor
Lea's donor I hope you realize how special you are to all of us who love Lea. As part of her, you are part of us. I hope you feel our love and get strength from our support. Thank you. Maureen Buchanan, Cheshire, CT
To Lea's wonderfully kind, generous and courageous stem cell donor, I can empathize what Lea has gone through because we were both diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia at about the same time and we went though attempts at medication treatment, which unfortunately failed us both. We didn't know each other then, but then we found each other on the Internet and discovered we would both be at the Fred Hutchinson in Seattle to undergo a bone marrow transplant (BMT) at the same time. So you see, Lea and I have shared many of the same trials and tribulations that come with cancer and a BMT. However, I can only imagine what you have had to deal with, emotionally and physically, in
order to give Lea such a precious gift at a time so tough for you. so sorry for your loss. your unselfish character. I understand your However, please know You have story with Lea is a bittersweet one and I am that so many people are grateful to you for undoubtedly saved a life, and having met Lea and her husband and mother in Seattle, I am so glad you did. You touch so many lives as a stem cell donor and we appreciate people like you and my unrelated donor so much. an inspiration to us all! Thank you with warm regards and gratitude, David Cox You are the best and
The world is such an amazing place, and even more so with people like Lea and her donor. Lea has been such a source of strength for me through my own BMT journey and I am so
grateful that her donor did such a selfless thing to save such a beautiful soul. Best wishes, Ann Gregory
To Lea's Angel, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your generous gift of life. that you would come along. Lea's family, friends, and students prayed very hard There are many "Leas" out there but not enough Angels.
Many people come in and leave our lives. little girl was fighting for her life. 2005 with Leukemia. well.
met Lea (my "cyber sis") during a time when my Emily (now 11 years) was diagnosed in March of I am happy to say that she has returned to school and doing Now, it's time for Lea to return to Her students need her. Her family school.
needs her. For so many years, December 12th has been a dark time of the year. suicide. day. For it was in 1998 that I lost a 13 year old nephew to You have given new meaning to that Thank you. She
I have never met Lea, Billy, Kimo or her extended family. I just know what I read. now has a chance to spend time with her husband. She now has the time to teach her students well. You made this possible, Angel. all thank you. Happy Birthday, Lea! Blessings, Thank you, Angel! For that, we
Sandy Zimmerman Walkersville, Maryland
Dear Donor You gave life to the most amazing woman. Lea
Morrison could not be a more wonderful human
For the hundreds of us (if not Her gratitude And
thousands) who have watched her journey, Lea has been a true inspiration. for this second chance has overwhelmed all of the other roadblocks she has faced. she is cancer-free thanks to you. Your act of registering yourself and then following through with the donation was incredibly generous and is appreciated more than you can ever know. All the best to you - may many blessings come your way. Susan George though her past year has been far from easy,
On behalf of my wife Anna and my son Alex I want to sincerely thank you for your incredible gift of life to Lea Morrison. I have profound respect and admiration for the generosity and selflessness that you have shown in this act. I can tell you with 100% certainty that Lea fully appreciates what you have done to help save her life. With the very best of efforts she could probably never fully express the gratitude that she feels but you should know it is there in force. We love Lea, Billy and the entire Morrison family. You have gracefully touched all of our lives with your kindness and for that you should be extremely proud. Gratefully, William Boardman
A note of gratitude and thanks to Lea's donor... Although I don't know you and probably never will, you have given me one of the greatest gifts a person could ask for. You have given life to my wonderful and special friend, Lea. A year ago, Lea was fighting for her life, and you gave her the hope and the opportunity to get well. Before her transplant when she was very sick, I sent her this poem as it touched me and seemed quite fitting for all that she was going through. As I write this note to you now, I once again feel that this poem is an appropriate one to share - this time with you, as you were the person who gave Lea hope...and ultimately gave me my friend. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have given me and more importantly for what you have given my dear friend, Lea. Fondly, Carrie Ledden HOPE IS REAL
Hope is seen in the eyes Hope is heard in the voice Hope is held in the heart Hope is alive…it is all around us Hope is in the Oak tree within the acorn Hope is the winged butterfly within the cocoon Hope is the first rosebud of Spring, awakening in the stem of Winter’s rose Hope is not blind – Hope sees beyond to what is Hope sees through the clouds to the mountaintops and journeys over the high peaks Knowing that on the other side a green valley awaits. Hope is invisible...yet it can be seen when the eyes are closed Hope sees the red light of the sun as it shines within.. and the power of love as it fills the heart Hope sees beyond our differences to oneness… and beyond our appearances to the heart Hope knows goodness lives everywhere in this world and miracles are happening everyday Hope does not ask when the darkness will end.. Hope wonders when the light will begin Hope is a way of seeing, a way of believing, a way of knowing Hope is alive – Hope is real – Have hope –
Live Hope Love Hope - HOPE
Dear Lea's Donor; Thanks for your gift of life. have to meet Lea for yourself. Words don't She is the She
really capture what you have given, you just epitome of selflessness, positivity, and is, simply put, a phenomenal human being. always has been. And since her diagnosis with
CML, she has been supernaturally strong and even more positive, even more amazing, than ever before. As of this writing, over 67,000 people have visited her Caringbridge site – the website where she posts her ongoing story to hundreds of supporters – “fans” if you will. Yes, Lea
actually has a fan base!
People flock to her On her
website (and her Glamour blogs) to hear her progress, and to be inspired. Caringbridge website alone, Lea has received close to 3500 postings over the past year and many, many folks, speak of how inspired they are. Inspired to run marathons to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; inspired not to let the small things get you down; inspired not to take things for granted; to love, to be happy, to pay it forward; inspired to be a better person. So you see, you gave the gift of life to one person, but you also touched thousands! I think there is… Anywho, you only come across a person like Lea once in a blue moon. Thank you so much for I am certain taking the time and effort to donate to a person you’ve never even met. that you too, are a phenomenal human being. So thank you, thank you, thank you, and I wish you nothing but peace, love and happiness always!! Best, Is there a movie out there somewhere about this?
Kim White and Family Orinda, California
Dear Donor, I would like to thank you for the beautiful gift you have given my friend and colleague, Lea Morrison. Without you, she would be continuing the struggle against Leukemia. However, with your generous donation, she will soon be able to have a normal life again. She has been fighting Leukemia for a while now, and she is so strong; she is truly an inspiration. You are an inspiration as well. The process you have gone through must have been a
difficult one. Please know that what you have done for Lea does not only affect her, but all her family and friends as well. You have given a gift to all of us - Lea smiling and healthy. God bless you and your loved ones. And thank you again. Sincerely, Lisa Ayer San Mateo, CA
I just wanted to say how thankful I am that the donor did this unselfish act and enabled us all to keep a great person and friend with us.
The donor will see what a wonderful act she did once she sees face-toface Lea's beautiful and glowing smile and intoxicating laugh. Thank you! Lea, I'm so happy you are doing well. wait to see you again soon!! Love, Dave I can't
Dear Lea, I remember very vividly the day that you called and told me that you had Leukemia. I was shocked - you were by far the healthiest person I knew. And as I have watched you through this journey, you have never ceased to amaze me. There were many times that I was scared and though you were one with the disease, I looked to you for strength. Your unwavering belief that this disease would not
get the better of you and your amazing positive attitude inspired me. I have watched you adjust to your new reality. Life as you once knew it may not exist but through all of this you have not changed who you are and you have not lost your spirit. Just remember that even though the difficult times may be behind you - there is a long journey ahead of you. You have an army of people that love you and that want to help you as you have helped us. I am so proud of you and I feel so very lucky to call you my friend! Love you! Jenn Anderson
Dear Donor, Thank you so much for giving Lea the most precious gift - the gift of life. In helping Lea, you have helped all of us that love her and that benefit from having her in our lives. Your act was unselfish and I can only hope that through reading these letters you come to realize that not only have you saved our friend but you have inspired so many people. I thank you from the bottom of my heart! Jenn Anderson
Dear "Super Hero" Donor,
I remember my parents telling me "its better to give than to receive." Did you receive that same advice? You are one giving lady...you have given life to dear Lea. How wonderful is that? As a leukemia survivor I cannot adequately express my feelings of gratitude towards you ...it is impossible! You are a true "super hero" and represent the best of humanity. What a world this would be if there were more people like you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! And best wishes to you always, Linda Corbitt
Dear Lea, Our friendship through illness has been a bonding experience with a common goal...wellness. Traveling with you on this journey to wellness, you have been such an inspiration to me. Your optimistic, hopeful thoughts have given strength and empowered all of us. Thank you, Lea. Bless you on your continued road to recovery. Love and hugs, Linda Corbitt
Dear Donor All the people who know Lea are so grateful for the life you have given her. Lea is such I And of an inspiration and such a strong person. through something like this as Lea is. support. There are not enough words to say that would show the appreciation to you for what you have given Lea. I wish you the best that life can bring to you and your family. Sandy McKean
don't know that I could have been as positive course Billy is a saint by now for being her
Dear Donor, Thank you so much for generously giving of yourself. In my position, as Patient Services Manager at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, I have the privilege of meeting so many recipients of "the gift of life" but rarely have the chance to express my gratitude for your selfless act. life. You made a difference. You are a hero. You saved a
Please know what an extraordinary woman you saved. friend. Lea has become more than client or a She has become family. She has an Always an optimistic
amazing heart and soul.
realist, Lea knew the risks she was facing but courageously moved ahead. Through the roller coaster of this process, she has always expressed hope and gratitude, not just for her journey but for all of us. She is wise, warm, thoughtful and Your gift was well spent. kind.
Should you choose to meet her, your life will be made richer by the experience. If not, please know how much your gift has meant, not only to Lea and her family, but to the legions of people whom Lea touches. Wonderful Life". You truly are an angel! Sincerely, Susan Beutler The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Patient Services Manager Think "It's a
Dearest Donor, I have to say, for somebody so high on my most admired people list, it's funny we've never met! I cannot even begin to express in words You the overflowing gratitude and thanks I feel for your immeasurable donation last year. gave my friend Lea the hope for a long fulfilling life.
Lea is one of the most positive people I know, her radiance lights up a room when she enters it. She takes for granted nothing, however, and cherishes the gift you have given her each and every day. She is largely here because you were selfless enough to give a healthy part of you for the betterment of a stranger. have made the world a better place. I can only hope that I have the chance to give a life as you have. I cry tears of joy as I write, and honor you. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You
With love from your friends, Cedric, Lisa, and Caden Barringer
“Life is mostly froth and bubble; Two things stand like stone:
Kindness in another’s trouble, Courage in our own.”