Holy Rosary Physician Assistant Makes Life-Saving Stem Cell Donation
Justin Nagy, a family medicine provider at the Holy Rosary Healthcare Walk-In Clinic, first learned about the Be the Match organization while a student in the physician assistant program at Duke University in North Carolina. Be the Match is a leading donor registry to help individuals diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, and other life-threatening diseases that need a potential life-saving marrow or blood stem cell donation find a donor.
After learning more, Nagy shared why he decided to register to be a donor, “I made this decision because it isn’t every day you have the chance to save a life.”
To get started, the process was simple; Nagy signed up on the organization’s website bethematch.org and received a swab kit that was sent through the mail. Only one in 430 people get the call to donate, so Nagy was excited when he received the call in late 2021 that he was a potential match for an adult male with CML Leukemia. He was then asked to consider undergoing additional testing to confirm that he was a match.
“There was never a question about doing it,” he shared, and the process moved forward.
After confirming that he was a match, Nagy traveled to Houston to donate. He had to undergo some initial treatment to stimulate his white blood cells before making his donation. Nagy underwent the five-hour procedure in Houston, where his blood was drawn and filtered for stem cells. His donation was successful, and he shared that he “felt like a million bucks following the procedure.” He was well cared for during the process and was thankful for the support of his brother-in-law during his trip.
He looks forward to the day he can communicate with the recipient of his donation. Because of his experience, he hopes to serve as a donor again and encourages others to consider registering to become a donor. Because, as he shared, “life is a gift.”