Stem cell transplant saves life of Bourbonnais toddler with leukemia

DKMS recruitment coordinator explains stem cell donation process

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, January 10, 2022
Stem cell donation saves life of Bourbonnais toddler with leukemia
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An 18-year-old Ohio nursing student found out she was a match for a sick boy during her first college finals.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After a Bourbonnais boy was diagnosed with leukemia at just 5 months old, a stranger stepped in with a life-saving donation.

Mads Pomranky, now 2, needed a stem cell transplant to survive, and an 18-year-old nursing student from Ohio was a match.

The two families recently met.

Jennifer and Derrick Pomranky, Mads' parents, and donor Kaelynn Speed joined ABC7 Chicago Monday to talk about the experience.

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Speed said she was in the midst of her first college finals when she found out she was a match, and she was so glad to help the little boy.

Now, Mads is a rambunctious toddler, his parents said.

Olivia Haddox, a donor recruitment coordinator for DKMS, also talked about what's involved in stem cell donation.

For more information on stem cell registration, visit