Everyday Hero: Littlestown man donates bone marrow stem cells to stranger

A Littlestown resident went through a five-day procedure to give bone marrow stem cells to a man living in France

By Adam Michael

amichael@GameTimePA.com

@goodoletwonames on Twitter

John Sibirtzeff will never meet the man who used his stem cells to heal. He'll never know exactly what his affliction was, and he's OK with that.

A month ago, Sibirtzeff spent five days in Washington D.C. donating bone marrow stem cells that would be used to heal a 69-year-old man living in France.

"I'll never know who the recipient was," he said. "I'll never know if he was American or French, military or non."

When Sibirtzeff, of Littlestown, was in Navy boot camp in 2007, he opted into the C.W. Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program. Naval doctors drew a vial of his blood and stored it after identifying his type. In 2011, Sibirtzeff finished his tour of duty, but his name remained on the donor list.

This past January, the program contacted Sibirtzeff requesting that he return for testing, as he was a potential match for a 69-year-old man living in France.

According to the program's website, salutetolife.org, 70 percent of patients are unable to find a match within their families. Sibirtzeff's receiver was among them.

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Everyday Hero: Littlestown man donates bone marrow stem cells to stranger

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