UPDATE- The Museum of the Rockies will be welcoming Dax as a "Docent In Training," making him a tour guide. There will be a ceremony and he will be given an annual membership to MOR to spend as much time as he would like with "Big Mike."
BOZEMAN- A Montana boy who received a vital bone marrow transplant got to meet the woman who saved his life.
Dax Schieffer Jr., who now is seven, has bone marrow failure. But a donor stepped in and provided bone marrow for transplant.
Now, after being released from treatment at Seattle Children’s Hospital, he's home kicking a ball around the backyard.
He's a happy kid living life to the fullest and that’s all because of his new friend, Jennifer Hawkins, a woman from Texas who donated her bone marrow.
The Schieffer family didn’t know much about the donor, because her identity wasn't initially shared with them to protect her privacy. But as it turns out, they both were very curious about each other.
In the beginning, they were able to anonymously communicate via letters and then eventually as time passed a meeting was able to happen.
“She describes for herself….walking around in public and see a little boy and just wondering,” says Dax Schieffer Sr. “For her it changed her life immediately [and] naturally for us it was life-changing to have her donation.”
Dax and Jennifer got to meet right here in Bozeman, the friendship was instant.
Dax and ran right up to her and gave her a hug.
The two had a wonderful few days together they got to go to Yellowstone and even went to the Museum of the Rockies. Dax says he wants to be a tour guide at the museum when he grows up.
Now that Dax is doing well his family is working with “Be The Match,” and making a plea to our community.
“If we had more people join the [bone marrow] registry then you wouldn’t have those family in that crisis moment,” Schieffer said. “It was a relief to have matches, but what I want to focus on those families that aren’t as fortunate as ours.”
It's simple to become a donor - you just send in a cheek swab through the mail. You can learn more about getting a kit here.