Local educator donates bone marrow to help save life of a stranger

Local educator donates bone marrow to help save life of a stranger
Montgomery Elementary School educational assistant to donate bone marrow to stranger in Michigan

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A local educator is taking a few days off work to help save the life of a stranger.

Eric Wietmarschen is an educational assistant at Montgomery Elementary School.

He arrived at work Wednesday morning to cheers and lots of hugs from his co-workers.

Wietmarschen is leaving for a few days to go to the University of Michigan to donate his bone marrow to a woman in her 50′s suffering from leukemia. A woman he’s never met.

He says he registered to be a donor with a simple cheek swab back when he was in collge.

“Almost 10 years later, they reached out and let me know there is a match. Did some bloodwork and it was a match and here we are,” said Wietmarschen.

Doctors will take his healthy bone marrow and replace the recipient’s diseased marrow.

Believe it or not, the process for him will only take a few days.

“Should just be Thursday and Friday. I should be back to work on Monday,” said Wietmarschen.

Eric says if given the chance to be a living donor, just do it.

“It’s your chance to make a difference for somebody else and give them a higher quality of life again,” said Eric.

Each year, more than 17,000 people are diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses and are in need of a bone marrow transplant.

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