Calling all mystery solvers, P.I. wanna bes, puzzlers, riddlers, crypto chasers, scavenger hunters, and safe crackers!

We are trying to locate the recipient of my son’s stem cells in order to find out if he would like to meet Rex, the donor who saved his life.  This is what we know about the mystery patient:

  • Male
  • 65-years old at the time of transplant (so 67 or 68 now)
  • Stem Cell Transplant in Italy
  • Stem Cell Transplant date:  November 18, 19 or 20, 2014
  • Stem cells donated at City of Hope in Duarte, CA, then taken by courier to Italy
  • Transplant organized on the USA side by Be The Match

Rex received word from Be The Match that the patient survived the transplant and was recovering well at the six month point (May 2015).

Depending on the country where a stem cell or bone marrow transplant takes place, there can be a waiting period (typically 1-2 years) before any contact information is offered to be shared between donor and patient.  Some countries, like Italy, have a very unfortunate rule that the contact information will never be released by the transplant organizers.  I understand the reasons for this rule, but I believe it should be up to the individuals concerned and not a governmental or medical agency.

My bronor and me

Being a transplant recipient myself, I would be going mad if an organization told me I was not allowed to find out who saved my life.  I am so fortunate that my life saver is my bronor (brother + donor)!  I get to thank him all the time.  I’d bet big that the patient who received my son’s stem cells would love to know Rex’s identity, too.

If we can find him, and he would like, our entire family would jump on the next plane to Italy (or wherever he is now) to toast some Chianti and celebrate life with him.  He is, after all, part of our family, now that he and Rex share DNA.  Rex has a twin and I have a 67-year-old son!  I wonder if he has become a sports fanatic, streaming ESPN’s Sports Center 24-7.  I wonder if he’s getting out on the links or tennis court at every opportunity.  I wonder if he prefers blondes.  I wonder if he’s good at math.  I wonder if he has hairy legs.  I wonder if he likes steak and beer.  I wonder if we’ll ever know.

Please share this post to get the word out!  Ya never know who knows whom, ya know?

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Share the search!

If you or anyone you know may be able to help us locate this man, PLEASE comment below!  Even if you don’t know anyone in Italy, you or someone who sees a share of this post could still be instrumental in our search.  Our survivor friend may be anywhere.  He had his transplant in Italy, but that doesn’t mean that’s where he resides now.


…and what would a Brawl post be without a fun, new medical issue?

I recently went in for a 3.5 hour dental exam.  Not a cleaning, but a prolonged scrutiny that was extensive/comprehensive/intensive to the max.  I know, SO fun!  There were just too many tests and procedures to list here, so here is a condensed list:  ice pick-like instruments plunged into every crevice, hammers, torturous stretcher bars, bleeding, gum flapping, approximately 457 x-rays, cranial, facial and neck pressure points, gagging on impression trays and a 360 degree image machine that occupies its own room.  This particular contraption produced an immense horror movie x-ray of my face, revealing a mass in one of my sinuses.  I was told this was probably a fungal ball.

Ummm – Excuse me?

Fungal ball, as in:  “Look at the fungal ball on her!  She’s hawt!”?

I think not.  Sounds like I have a mushroom teste imbedded next to my nose.



Posted by

I am a survivor of two extremely rare diseases, thanks to over 100 blood transfusions and ultimately, a bone marrow transplant. My blog,, chronicles my adventures through medical offices, operating rooms, clinics, transfusion centers, hospital transplant floors, victory celebrations, and finally my bucket list items – all with a humorous and sometimes profane twist. My goal is to inspire others not to give up on life or anything else, and to understand that it’s actually possible to enjoy any experience, even battling a life-threatening illness (or two).

18 thoughts on “HELP!

  1. Sent it to Megan in case she doesnt see it. Maybe she can circulate amongst her Italian friends! xoxo


  2. I thank you have far excited Job in the book of the Old Testament. You should read the whole book. He was somewhat lucky in that they didn’t have all the technology in those days as we have today. You’re like the EverReady battery, you just keep on ticking. Bob


  3. Wish I had connections in Italy….but I will keep my ears and eyes on alert for a 67 year old man who had a bone marrow transplant👍
    A fungal mass,…YUK!


  4. Hi Jos…
    Gosh, I’m sorry that you have had no luck finding the man Rex donated to….seems like there would be a more ‘clear-cut’ way of keeping track.

    It pains me, for you, to learn of yet another medical issue that you must deal with.Though you do it with the utmost of humor and steadfastness….it surely must be draining…and I pray for healing for you always.

    God bless you, Jos…
    Love you, Linda…and always Ryan.


  5. 3 1/2 hours? You poor thing. I can barely survive a teeth cleaning. A fungal ball? Never heard of it, but I have not heard of most of your ailments. I guess that’s because you are so rare – like one of a kind. You have given us all courage just reading this blog. I don’t have many Italy connections, but as luck (or fate) would have it, I am meeting one of them tomorrow. Love You,
    Lynn and Carolee


  6. Jos, are they sure it’s fungal? I’m just thinking….if you have cats, maybe it’s a hairball you need to hack up in the middle of the night!


  7. Hi Joselyn- I am an RN that read most of your archived blog with great interest. I commend you for your determination and courage! My best friend from nursing school is following your path with EF and AA. She is the one that Rita spoke of. She is now 2 weeks post ATG infusion and having some tough times. You are an inspiration!


    1. Daryl – Thanks for the kind words. I wish your friend all the best in her recovery! I hope the ATG will turn it around, but if not, a BMT could be a final cure! It’s not as bad as it sounds! Joselyn


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