After a gesture described both as selfless and heroic, a branch manager at the $27 million Lorillard Federal Credit Union in Greensboro, N.C., is anxiously awaiting word from a Minneapolis blood donor agency on the outcome of her life-and-death gift of her bone marrow to an unidentified male recipient.
“Linda’s gift to a stranger represents the ultimate in the credit union cause of people helping people,” declared Linda Spain’s boss, the CU’s president/CEO, Patti Weber.
Spain underwent the blood procedure in early August at a hospital in Winston-Salem. She said her gift was prompted out of her own personal mission of helping others in need and followed the leukemia death of a friend of her daughter.
Since then, said Spain, “I’ve just been waiting by the phone to hear if my donation actually saved his life” in elaborating whether the marrow transplant was successfully accepted by the recipient, a 39-year-old male.
Under procedures of the Be the Match program, Spain may never know the recipient’s identity “though I would like to meet him some day,” she said.
Weber, the Lorillard FCU CEO, said she has long urged credit unions across the state to support this kind of charitable endeavor. She said she, too, was listed on the Be the Match registry for several years.
“Years ago I used to work for the North Carolina Credit Union League and we all registered for this kind of project to give blood,” she said.
Spain said the bone marrow procedure was heartening but can get complicated and time consuming, including daily stays at hospitals for checkups.
Spain, a five-year veteran of the industry who manages the main branch in Greensboro, is “a truly a dedicated credit union person putting the members first,” said Weber.
The 4,500-member CU gave Spain time off to make the trips to the Wake University Hospital.
Spain insisted she use vacation time. “But I said no way,” said Weber.
Spain pointed out that “if you aren’t aware of how bone marrow transplantation works you might think it is a last resort, but it’s actually one of the first weapons deployed against AML (acute myelogenous leukemia),” she said.
She said happened to be “lucky enough to provide a match” for the recipient.