Deputy Donor and Virginia Bone Marrow Recipient to Meet for First Time
HOUSTON - A Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputy who donated bone marrow two years ago will meet the recipient for the first time Friday during the 14th Annual “Roll the Dice for Life” casino night and auction hosted by The Gulf Coast Marrow Donor Program (GCMDP).
HCSO Deputy Jeffery McGowen, 42, registered with the National Marrow Donor Program in 1999. “My partner and I were at a health fair passing out crime prevention pamphlets,” he explains. “I saw that the Be the Match table was passing out free t-shirts. After talking with the girl for a while my partner and I both signed up.” Ten years later, Deputy McGowen’s marrow was a match to 17-year-old Calvin McIntyre of Chester, Virginia.
Calvin was just 15 when he was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia, a deadly disease where bone marrow does not produce sufficient new cells to replenish blood cells. After spending 9 months in a hospital waiting for a donor, he received Dep. McGowen’s bone marrow on November 18, 2009 - his 16th birthday. Calvin recalls that day as the happiest day of his life.
While donor and recipient know of each other, they have never met.
In 2004, McGowen’s wife gave birth to quadruplets. The youngest, Justin, died shortly thereafter. Deputy McGowen said the death was a turning point that led him to want to give others the gift of life: “I didn’t want [Calvin’s] parents to have to go through the pain that my wife and I felt after the death of our son Justin. I wanted [Calvin] to be able to go on dates, kiss a girl and go to the movies.”
Deputy McGowen has been with the HCSO for 19 years and is currently assigned to the Internal Affairs Division.
WHO: HCSO Deputy McGowen and The Gulf Coast Marrow Donor Program
WHAT: Donor Meets Recipient
WHEN: Friday, February 3, 2012
WHERE: La Colombe d’Or (Le Grand Salon)
3410 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006