Miracles do happen: Internet saves dying man’s life 2 times in 2 years

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
January 1, 2017Stories
Miracles do happen: Internet saves dying man’s life 2 times in 2 years

The internet is an incredibly useful tool — one that most of us use for the better part of every day. It connects us, all over the world, through social networking. It gives us all the information we could ever need in the palm of our hands. You can find absolutely anything online: news stories, DIY costume tutorials, pictures of Kim Kardashian, recipes, bone marrow donors, $572,338.84.

For this young man, it’s the reason he’s still alive.

Meet Mike Brandon.

Mike is a 32-year-old man from Bristol, UK, who owes the world his life.

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viaVimeo / Rooster PR

Meet Mike’s wife, Kate.

Kate has been the mastermind behind uniting the world to save her husband.

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viaFacebook / Donate4mike

In 2014, Mike was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

“In January 2014, one month after Mike proposed, he was diagnosed with a rare form of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).” He needed to find a bone marrow donor within 60 days.

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Kate started her first online campaign.

Through Anthony Nolan (a registry and matching organization for providing stem cells and bone marrow to those who need it), they started a campaign similar to the Ice Bucket Challenge. #Shake4Mike asked people to post “shaky-face selfies” after registering to become a donor, and then nominate others to do the same.

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viaTwitter / @tiahannison

They increased bone marrow registrants through their viral campaign.

Anthony Nolan posted online that they had seen a 650% increase in the number of people applying to join the registry. It had only been nine days since the #Shake4Mike campaign started. It was huge for the registry — “more than 7,000 people have joined the Anthony Nolan register online, compared to 939 during the same period last year.”

In less than a month, they had found a donor.

They had received swabs on the Anthony Nolan registry from all over the world! And, as the most wonderful gift, “on 26th June 2014, his 30th birthday, Mike received his lifesaving transplant.”

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Mike and Kate got married!

In June of 2015, they said their “I Dos” and started their life together. Kate has said that, “His condition continued to improve following the transplant and we were able to start living our lives again, both of us returning to work as we began to plan our family and our future.”

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viaITV News

In February of 2016, Mike got sick.

The cancer came back. This time, his doctors told him that they had exhausted all the options and that he had only a couple of weeks to live.

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Kate wasn’t about to give up that easily.

Mike has said that, “Without Kate, many times over I would not be here. I wouldn’t. I was ready to call it a day when the consultant told me that it had relapsed and it had relapsed hard. But Kate just went ‘no, no, there’s options and we’re going to find them and we’re going to do it’,” and so she was at it again.

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She heard about a treatment in the United States.

The University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Center has a “revolutionary new treatment that has shown extraordinary rates of success” and they were conducting trials. “We need to raise at least £400,000 to save his life,” Kate pleaded online. The internet had saved him once — she had to try again.

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She only had a couple of weeks to raise the money.

But she only needed a couple of days. They received 22,820 donations which added up to £453,769 ($572,338.84) and people are still donating.They flew to Pennsylvania on May 3rd, 2016 and Mike began the trial.Any additional money they don’t use is being donated to the Bristol Royal Infirmary Haematology Oncology Unit.

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viaITV News

And they’ll live happily ever after.

On October 3rd, the couple updated their Facebook page, Donate4Mike, with this fantastic message: “Hello support squad. We wanted to write with some more good news. We are back in the UK and Mike’s latest biopsy came back clear! As always there are still hurdles along the way but Mike is smashing them out of the park one by one.We were so moved by the last campaign that now we want to give something back and we are starting a new campaign to support families having T-Cell therapy in the UK in the future.”Their newest campaign, Donate4TCells, is already up and running and hosting its first event on November 19th.Congratulations and best of luck to Mike and Kate!

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