Ohio Cancer Survivor Meets the Bone Marrow Donor Who Saved Her Life

Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center

It was an emotional meeting.

It was an emotional moment when an Ohio cancer survivor met the man who saved her life. 

Lyndsey Hollback, 24, said she was overwhelmed when she met Jacob Murray, who donated his bone marrow to her, in June. 

“I haven’t come up with many words to express what his bone marrow donation means for me,” Hollback said before the two met.

Lyndsey was 19 when she began experiencing chest pains, severe weight loss and swollen lymph nodes that led to a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

After several rounds of chemo and 18 radiation treatments, her cancer went into remission for a year, but returned. She tried one more drug therapy afterward but agreed to have a bone marrow transplant.

An only child, Lyndsey did not have a donor available so her team of doctors at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center turned to the National Bone Marrow Registry where they identified several 100-percent matches. 

Murray, of Virginia, agreed to be her bone marrow donor. The idea of helping another in this way had a special meaning to him.

“My best friend in high school had Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” Murray said. “I figured if he could endure the transplant procedure I could endure the donation process to help someone else in need of a match.”  

The two shared plenty of tears and hugs as they laid eyes on each other for the first time. 

“I had to wait two years to meet the guy who saved my life,” Hollback said. 

Hollback has been cancer-free for two years and is focusing on living her life to the fullest.

“I know how quickly life can change," she said. "I am just enjoying being alive, spending time with family and experiencing the world."