Ron (USA) and Karolina (Poland)

Local Las Vegas resident Ron Gross is alive today because of one selfless donor from Poland. In December 2013, Ron was told by his oncologist that he desperately needed a bone marrow transplant–and quickly—in order to survive. He had been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a disorder that disrupts the production of blood cells. Luckily, Ron found a match on the Be The Match Registry, received his transplant, and began returning back to a normal, healthy life thanks to this amazing young woman – his donor. Over time, Ron found out more about her – she was an artist in her mid-thirties living in Poland – her name was Karolina Wierciak.

As you can imagine, Ron and his family were entirely grateful for Karolina’s selflessness, so after Ron made his recovery, their entire family went over to Poland to meet Karolina and thank her for the gift of life that she had given Ron. The two are now bonded by blood and friendship.

Karolina also has a deep connection to helping others. She wanted to join the registry in honor of a family member who passed away due to a battle with throat cancer. This was her way of paying it forward and saving a life. Also, another neat aspect of this story is that Karolina traveled to Germany to donate her stem cells since Poland is not part of the international registry – so she made an extra effort to help save ANYONE’S life. Truly amazing.