EXCLUSIVE: Two FDNY members who donated life-saving bone marrow to cancer survivors get chance to meet their grateful recipients
FDNY EMT William Curle, 30, received a heartfelt email from the recipient of his bone marrow donation, which enabled her to see the birth of her grandchild.
When FDNY EMT William Curley opened up a thank you email from the woman to whom he donated bone marrow, he received a picture he didn’t expect — a sonogram of the woman’s unborn grandchild.
“Because of you I am able to watch my grandbaby grow and I will be able to watch her be born,” Jamie Tefft, 39, of Pawcatuck, Conn., wrote in her email. “I can’t thank you enough.”
“I cried my eyes out,” Curley, 30, said, remembering the heartfelt email. “It’s amazing. This is definitely the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve treated all kinds of patients, delivered babies and helped people hit by trains, but this is hands down the thing I am most proud of.”
Curley, who is currently enrolled in paramedic school, is one of two FDNY members who will be given a chance to come face-to-face with the cancer survivors they donated life-saving bone marrow to — giving the patients a second lease on life.
They will be reunited at a special event organized by the FDNY and the New York Blood Center at FDNY headquarters at MetroTech Friday.
“I’m nervous,” Curley said about meeting Tefft. “I was going to bring flowers and I’m thinking of getting something for her unborn granddaughter, maybe a teddy bear.”
Jamie Tefft (l.), 39, received bone marrow from Curley. Kyle Richardson (c.), 14, was giving the help of Robert Humphries’ bone marrow to survive cancer. Dawn Traynor (r.), Kyle’s mother, said she’s going to hug Humphries when she meets him.
(Jefferson Siegel/New York Daily News)
Curley signed up to be a bone marrow donor when he joined the Emergency Medical Service Academy in 2013. Two years later, he was told he was a match for someone.
Tefft, a single mother of three suffering from chronic myeloid leukemia, is now in remission — and can’t wait to meet Curley for the first time.
“I’m very excited … this was my dream,” said Tefft, whose eldest daughter is expecting to give birth at the end of August. “I always wondered who the donor is, and I learn he only lives about 3 1/2 hours away.”
“I’m not sure what I’m going to do (when I see him),” she said. “I know he’s definitely going to get a big hug.”
Also meeting for the first time will be Staten Island Firefighter Robert Humphries of Engine Company 161 and 14-year-old cancer survivor Kyle Richardson of Deltona, Fla.
Firefighter Humphries said it was a "no-brainer" to donate the bone marrow.
(Debbie Egan-Chin/New York Daily News)
Humphries’ bone marrow donation has helped give Kyle a fighting chance, his mother Dawn Traynor, 50, said.
“He doesn’t know me but I’m going to hug him — and I’m going to cry,” Traynor said.
Humphries eagerly wants to meet Kyle, but said no thanks is necessary.
“It was a no-brainer for me,” Humphries, 30, said. “If all I have to do is get on a table and let them take it out of me so I can save a life, I’m all for it. If someone in my family was suffering from cancer, I would hope someone would step up and do it for me.”