FDNY unites firefighter bone marrow donors with recipients

FDNY firefighter Robert Paolillo and retired Lt. Kieran Brosnan met Jeff Faller and Joseph Stike, who were given a second chance at life


By FireRescue1 Staff

NEW YORK — FDNY officials united two bone marrow donors from the department with the men they helped save.

ABC7 reported that firefighter Robert Paolillo met Jeff Faller, who was given a second chance at life with Paolillo’s bone marrow donation at a FDNY headquarters ceremony.

 Faller, who is a Waco Fire Department firefighter according to KWTX, thanked Paolillo and said he was “blown away.”

 "I’m just so grateful for Bobby. So grateful for what he has done," Faller said.

 

Jeff Faller of Waco, Texas meets the donor of his lifesaving bone marrow, FDNY Firefighter Robert Paolillo, at today’s FDNY Honor Roll of Life Inductee Ceremony. Today’s ceremony marked the 30th anniversary of the program that matches FDNY donors with patients in need of life-saving transplants. The program was started by retired Firefighter Mark Kwalwasser, who started the program to help his sister, Elaine Deidrich. To join the Be the Match Registry, go to Join.bethematch.org/NYBC or Text “NYBC” to 61474. To learn how you can donate blood to New York Blood Center please visit: www.nybloodcenter.org [web page]

Posted by New York City Fire Department (FDNY) on Thursday, January 31, 2019

Paolillo said “it’s a great feeling” knowing he helped save Faller.

"The fact that he has kids and a family depending on him, and he was having a rough time, and I was able to help change that – it's a great feeling," he said.

Retired Lt. Kieran Brosnan met Joseph Stike, whom Brosnan helped save through bone marrow donation as well.

 

Joseph Stike of York, Pennsylvania meets the donor of his lifesaving bone marrow, retired FDNY Lt. Kieran Brosnan, at today’s FDNY Honor Roll of Life Inductee Ceremony. Today’s ceremony marked the 30th anniversary of the program that matches FDNY donors with patients in need of life-saving transplants. The program was started by retired Firefighter Mark Kwalwasser, who started the program to help his sister, Elaine Deidrich. To join the Be The Match Registry, go to Join.bethematch.org/NYBC or Text “NYBC” to 61474. To learn how you can donate blood to New York Blood Center please visit: www.nybloodcenter.org [web page]

Posted by New York City Fire Department (FDNY) on Thursday, January 31, 2019

"I am super happy to actually meet the man who saved my life," Stike said. "And to meet his family. It's amazing. It's joy. It's a lot."

Brosnan said he is still processing the experience.

"I haven't processed it yet,” he said. “It's a little overwhelming, but I'm glad to have finally met Joe and have made a difference in his life.”

Thirteen more names of firefighters who have donated bone marrow were added to the “Honor Roll of Life” during the ceremony.

"It's how we help raise awareness about bone marrow donations and how we can hope to inspire others to join the registry,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

Firefighters make up the largest group of bone marrow and stem cell donors to the New York Blood Center and the Be the Match registry, with 205 donors.

 

On Thursday, January 31, FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro and Christopher D. Hillyer, M.D., President and CEO of the...

Posted by New York City Fire Department (FDNY) on Thursday, January 31, 2019

 

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