Minnesota bride dances with the donor who saved her

Here’s your daily dose of sweetness.

Photo courtesy of Be a Hero Become a Donor Foundation.

Greta Perske, of Sartell, Minn., was 15 years old when she was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia. She needed a bone marrow transplant.

Danny Daniels, a military veteran, had joined a bone marrow registry, figuring he could help a fellow soldier.

Instead, he helped a Minnesota school girl.

Her mom told the story on Facebook.

“On September 1, 2006, we received the devastating news that our youngest daughter, Greta, at the tender age of fifteen, had Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. The journey that followed this diagnosis was incredibly difficult, challenging and life-changing, not only for Greta, but for all of us.

Our lives soon revolved around medical appointments, injections, medications and trips to the Children’s Hospital as her leukemia treatment began. We found out quite early in the process that Greta’s only hope for a cure from the CML was a bone marrow transplant.

We had to quickly come to terms with the fact that this was her only hope. We knew how difficult a bone marrow transplant could be. We went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester to seek a second opinion and they concurred with the University of MN – a bone marrow transplant was necessary, and probably the sooner the better.

The immediate family was tested to see if any of us were a match for Greta. Our best hope was her sisters, but neither of them were a match. I was not a close match, nor was her father; parents typically won’t be a match. Our dear friends and family members organized a bone marrow drive in Greta’s honor, but we knew the odds of a match from the 450 people who donated that day were slim to none. We went ahead with the drive anyway, knowing that perhaps our drive would help someone else in the world who needed a bone marrow transplant.

Greta’s donor turned out to be a forty-four year old man, Danny, from Arkansas. He had initially registered in the Bone Marrow Registry for one of his soldiers who had leukemia. Danny was a total stranger to us, but when he was called to donate his marrow for Greta, he said, “I have spent my whole life saving lives in the military. How could I not save the life of a fifteen year old girl with leukemia?” Thus began the bone marrow transplant journey for our daughter.

Greta’s transplant went well. She had the typical issues involved in a bone marrow transplant and slowly her new bone marrow started producing the blood cells that her body so desperately needed. She suffered severe graft versus host disease after eight months, but with constant care and medications, her body slowly adjusted and accepted Danny’s marrow as her own.

Today, Greta is a registered nurse at a hospital in the Minneapolis area. We have met Danny and consider him an important member of our family. His gift not only saved Greta’s life, it saved all of our lives. We are forever indebted and grateful to Danny and the Bone Marrow Registry. It is so easy to save a life, so easy to be a hero with the gift of bone marrow registry and donation. Be a hero, be a donor!!!”

If you want to do your part to possibly change the life of patient in need, as Danny did for Greta, please add your name to the Bone Marrow Registry at www.deletebloodcancer.org (choose “Be A Hero Become A Donor” when asked how you heard about the registry). Because “lifesaving is everyone’s business!”

Let’s fast-forward nine years. It’s October 10, 2015 and Greta is all grown up and got married.

Who got to dance with the bride?


Photo: Mark Milburn, Phodot Photography

When he was introduced at the reception, he got a standing ovation, the St. Cloud Times reports.