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University of Illinois Graduate Meets Bone Marrow Transplant Recipient Whose Life He Saved

Thursday, April 16, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Vanessa Lao
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University of Illinois Graduate Meets Bone Marrow Transplant Recipient Whose Life He Saved



(April 16, 2015 - BOCA RATON, Fla.) – A 24-year old University of Illinois Materials Science and Engineering graduate, who donated blood stem cells to a 61-year old from Australia, finally got to meet the man whose life he saved. The two strangers learned each other’s identities one year after the transplant, but had never met in person until now. 

Donor Yaakov Cahnman, currently pursuing a second degree in religious studies, swabbed at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in March 2010. He was so dedicated to his recipient that he didn’t hesitate when asked to donate twice. The first time was right before Rosh Hashanah and he said that his Rabbi commented how jealous he was that Cahnman had the opportunity to save a life right before the holiday.   

Transplant recipient Paul Seshold, who was diagnosed in 2012 with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, had his wife by his side as he thanked the man who saved his life. Initially, doctors couldn’t decide whether a transplant would be Seshold’s best option, but after weighing the effects of continued chemotherapy, a search was run to see if a donor was available.  

In 2013, Seshold received the news that a donor had been found through the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Registry.

“I was astounded to learn how young my donor was and kept thinking what an amazing person he must be to offer to donate,” said Seshold. “I feel overwhelmed by Yaakov’s altruism and modesty. After the second donation, I completely lost the ability to express how magnificent Yaakov truly is.”   

When Seshold was initially diagnosed, he said he felt like he had no future. People would speak about their plans for the next year, and he would keep quiet. Now, he doesn’t think in those limited terms and takes each day as a glorious opportunity to live. Paul is an avid cyclist and has raised $200,000 for bone marrow transplant charities and facilities in Australia.

“Gift of Life is an amazing organization and I hope that my donation can inspire others to save lives,” said Cahnman. “The Talmud says that to save one life, is to save an entire world. I now realize the true meaning of this phrase and feel lucky to have had the opportunity to help Paul.”

Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla. Gift of Life is dedicated to saving lives and facilitating bone marrow and blood stem cell transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other blood-related diseases. Ranking among the top international bone marrow registries, Gift of Life’s vision is to find A match. Anytime. Anywhere. For anyone. 



Amy Glanzman
Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation 
Phone: 561-982-2900


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