"Most people are put on the transplant list, and you know, they search worldwide," Lauren Ford said.
Ford, a 4th year medical student in Lubbock got the chance to save a life even before she graduated.
Over the summer, she got a call from DKMS, an international non-profit dedicated to eradicating blood cancers, to donate her blood stem cells, 5 years after she signed up.
She knows first hand that finding a perfect match is rare.
"In 2009, my dad was actually the recipient of a kidney transplant. So I knew what it was like to depend on someone else, to give a loved one that gift of life and more time," she explained.
Her father's donor, like for nearly 70% of people in need of a transplant, ended up being from outside the family.
"I mean you never know if you'll ever be a match for someone, when I did finally get the call, I was really excited because I signed up because I wanted to do this for another person," Ford said.
She says, the donation process only took about 5 hours.
"So I was hooked up to 2 IVs and connected to a machine that took my blood out of one arm, and then went into the machine and the machine filtered out my stems cells," she said.
Now, she has the option to contact the person who received her life-saving donation anonymously for 1 year before they can meet in person.
"My family has a really good relationship with the family of the person that donated a kidney to my dad. So, I want to have that relationship with my patient, and their family," Ford said.
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