Madisen! You have saved my life!

Madisen’s identity has finally been revealed! Since the wait of 1 year was over,  I filled out paperwork through Emory and the Be The Match Foundation. I included my contact information and it was sent to her.

Thank goodness, she agreed that I could contact her!!! (Some donors want to stay anonymous.) I found out that she lives in Dallas, TX and you will not believe this, but she is an oncology/bone marrow transplant nurse! She is Everything and more than I ever expected. She is my hero! For heavens sake, there is part of her that is living inside of me! My blood is her blood! I was type A+ and now, like her, I’m A- blood type.

Madisen comes from a big family like ours and she seems ready to get to know our family and I am ready to get to know hers. Her 2 brothers and her sister and her Mom and Dad have already reached out to me! My Mom and Dad and sisters have reached out to her! Madisen is compassionate, smart, and beautiful…inside and out! I feel so blessed that we have gotten to meet on the phone and will one day, after the Corona Virus is gone, get to meet in person. The best present I have ever received besides her bone marrow itself was getting the permission to contact her!

I thought the best way to share our discovery journey would be to share (with her permission) some of our correspondence and that of our families. You will see my initial emails back and forth with Madisen and some family and friends, starting at the end of March. We have since been on phone, FaceTime and text and are planning a big family virtual meeting in the coming days:). I am jumping for joy!!!

I would like to ask you, as you read more about her below, to please write in the comments, your own note to Madisen and her family. She sees this blog and will get to feel your love too!

Ok… here we go!

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Dearest Madisen,

I am filled up with joy from head to my toes, jumping around and honestly don’t know what to do first! I am doing so well! My chimerism showed that my blood is 100% yours! I’m A- now instead of A+!!! The giant bag of bone marrow that you gave me took 8.5 hours to infuse! Hallelujah! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done for me. The news of who you are…my selfless angel, my lifesaver, and my vision of you, have been on my mind for over a year and in my everyday thoughts and prayers. To be able to put your name together with your extreme act of love and kindness, is overwhelming. The first thing I did was cry with joy.

I was sitting at my computer when I opened the email from Emory and was speechless. Since my staff and I are all working from home now with this horrible virus, the next thing I did to get my thoughts together, was to mop the floor!!lol After that, I told my husband Carl, called our son Alex, my sisters Sheri and Lisa and then my Mom and Dad. I couldn’t resist but try and look you up on social media and found you! I think! I was going to pick up the phone and call you but since I learned that you are a bone marrow transplant nurse!! I thought that you might be working or sleeping so I decided to write first.. My thought is that I would introduce myself and then I was hoping we could set up a time to connect on the phone. Your picture on LinkedIn looks so beautiful and I love your smile. I’m very familiar with what you have to do as a transplant nurse, so I already know that you are kind, positive, smart and diligent. I wish I could hop on a plane right now and come meet you, give you a hug and learn all about you. I will do that when it is possible if you are up for it. I have done so well through this transplant journey. I am convinced that it is because you gave me your bone marrow verses your peripheral stem cells. I know that was painful. I was blown away that you would do that for me without even knowing me. You are my hero.

These times are so surreal and uncertain. My main thought right now is for you to stay safe and healthy on the front lines at the hospital. I can’t wait to talk to you or hear from you one way or another. I know you are busy. Let me know a good time or…… really anytime is good for me!!!!

Forever grateful, Libby (aka Margaret E. Patrick)

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Libby!! I am so thrilled to hear from you!! And so so happy you are doing so well!!

I too have thought of you so often this last year, and have tried to picture how you were doing through the transplant journey. I am so excited to know how well you are doing! I have been cheering you on! as well as my family, and all my co-workers this past year! People often ask if I know how you are doing and I am so happy to have this good news to share! I shared this letter with my parents and siblings and we all cried tears of joy for you! It is really special to be able to put your name and where you are from to this journey too! Of course add me or friend on any social media! haha

On the day I donated they told me I had very concentrated bone marrow, I took it as a compliment haha. And it is crazy how small the world is, in the OR that day, my nurse was a bone marrow recipient a couple years before. I am so happy too to know that your chimerism is 100% my cells! That is so great! I think you are so amazing and so tough! I know your family is also amazing and I am still in awe at the love and kindness they all shared in the letters you sent!

I have been a bone marrow transplant/oncology nurse for almost 4 years, and this whole experience has made it so much sweeter! You are so kind and I am so looking forward to getting to know you more! Once the chaos of the virus is gone I would absolutely love to meet in person!!

Until then, I would love to connect phone call or FaceTime or however you would like! This weekend, Saturday, Sunday or Monday I am totally free and would love to connect!

Thank you so much for all of your kind words!! Stay safe during this crazy time as well!!

– Madisen

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Good morning Madisen!!

I woke up to find this wonderful note from you and I’m covered up in chills! Thank you for your speedy reply. I saw that you sent your email at 12:35. Are you a night owl like me? Or am I a night owl like you? Ha

I’m looking forward to catching up this weekend. I can’t believe all the God things in your story. Your nurse was a best recipient. Yes, your bone marrow was very concentrated. On my new birthday February 26th, I have pictures to show you of the bag being infused at Emory that morning with the little sketch I sent attached to the bag! It was a symbol of you. Were you in Dallas? I remember worrying about how much bone marrow was in the bag! I hoped you were ok! Thank you sooo much for going through surgery and pain that morning to give that to me!!! I am so amazed by you. Now I know your identity. What a miracle…. out of all the people in the world. It’s you! Yes, everyone has asked if I have learned anything about my donor all along. I had shared your sweet anonymous note with everyone and hoped that I would do ok and get to meet you after a year.

Your sweet brother Riley Linked me in late yesterday. He looks and sounds so nice. My family and friends are going to want to meet you too!! I don’t want it to overwhelm you so we can talk about how you want that to go. During the journey, I kept a blog along the way. My friend Caroline helped me keep it updated. Libby.life.

Well, I will write more later about when to meet by computer or phone. So thankful for our connection. I hope you have many great experiences on the transplant floor today, if you are working. I have pictures of all my nurses. They were incredible people. Have a great day!

Love and hugs, Libby

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Hi Libby!

Thank you for sharing your blog with me! It has been such a treat reading through it and learning more about you!! I’m looking forward to hearing your stories! It sounds like it has been an incredible journey! And it sounds like you have an amazing family and friends!! Please tell them all I am so looking forward to meeting them one day too! (Hopefully soon!)

I am in Dallas! And can sometimes be a night owl! Haha I work in the bmt Clinic, so I’ve luckily got normal working hours. Its been a little slow here as we’ve tried to reschedule many visits due to the covid virus.  Our exchanges this week have been such a highlight during this crazy time! I’m so happy and grateful you’ve reached out!!

I’m looking forward to talking more this weekend!!

Much Love, Madisen

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From Madisen’s parents

Dear Libby,

We are Mike & Brenda Traveller, Madi’s parents.  In the spirit of not wanting to overwhelm you, we hope that you and Madi would grant us a little discretion in celebrating the most wonderful and special connection you share.  We couldn’t be happier for you both!!  And while we have not met you yet Libby, we feel like our family grew a little more recently as we shared in your emotional emails to Madi; and we feel a love for you and your family that was a little unexpected.

As parents to Madi, her sister Kennedy, and brothers Tyson and Riley, we tried to instill within each of them a desire to serve each other, their friends, neighbors, and community.  Early on, it was evident that Madi would require very little parenting, and that we should just get out of her way and try to keep up!

By the 5th grade, Madi would tell anyone who asked that she ‘wanted to be a children’s cancer nurse’.  She never once wavered from her goal, although the path was not always smooth.  A year or two after our oldest son Tyson was married, his wife Randi was diagnosed with cancer.  She underwent chemotherapy and other treatments at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah.  We all love Randi to the moon and back and wanted to support her anyway possible.  As a family we would take turns going to her treatments to love, encourage, and support her.  On one such trip, the treating nurse became acquainted with Madi and her desire to work in oncology after high school and invited Madi to come and sit with Randi during her treatment.  A few minutes into the treatment, another nurse brought Madi of the treatment room with tears streaming down her face.  Madi had become nauseated by the process and nearly passed out.  Madi was concerned that she wasn’t cut out to be a nurse; but, with faith, she continued to purse her dream.  She enrolled at Utah State University, studied exercise science, and prepared for nursing school.  She was accepted into nursing school and was excited to be one step closer to her dream.  However, rotations brought similar challenges and Madi passed out 4 more times and vomited no less than 15 times as she attempted to balance the emotions of compassion and empathy with the necessity of treatments – sometimes gross and startling.  Madi survived by taking a more mechanical approach to some aspects of patient care – looking at the patient in much the same way a mechanic approaches a car in need of repair.  And this seemed to help.

During her senior year in nursing school, Madi was awarded an internship at Memorial Sloan Kettering – a world-class cancer care and treatment facility in mid-town Manhattan.  It was here that Madi truly fell in love with cancer care.  It was here that Madi, along with a group of other intern nurses decided that if they were going to work in oncology, then they needed to join the Bone Marrow Registry.  And the rest of the story, you know better than we do . . .

We would like to share a bit about the day of the bone marrow harvest.  Brenda (Madi’s mom) was Madi’s care companion that day and was so emotional the whole day.  All we knew about you at that time was that you were a 50+ year old woman, somewhere in the United States – Brenda told Madi that she was basically saving the life of someone just like her mother.  Brenda felt a deep love for you that day, and sensed Madi already felt this connection to you as well.  Madi seriously could not stop smiling.  As the surgeons explained the procedure and everything that would happen, we were amazed at Madi’s calmness.   We sincerely believe that by divine intervention, Madi was where she was in this stage of her life to do this very thing.  She knew it and Brenda knew it.  After the surgery, the doctor came and found Brenda in the waiting room.  He was all smiles, yet very emotional as he told her that the concentration of Madi’s bone marrow was among the best he had ever seen and that her recipient would be getting the very best she could get.

Since that day, you have been in our families’ prayers and thoughts.  As Madi shared your letter, family letters, and friend letters . . . we came to know a little more about you – above all that you are a very special and most loved person.  We have wondered many times how this special woman, daughter, wife, and mother was doing.  Madi kept us up on what stage of recovery you were in and how difficult it would be for you.  We all prayed for your strength and courage.  We learned after 9 months that you had survived your transplant surgery – we celebrated.  And finally, when Madi received your email, we all cheered and cried!

This has been a wonderful experience for Madi and our family.  It was made even more wonderful when you shared your good news recently.  We marvel at how one really good person was able to give something to one other really good person and how much it has blessed each life.

We look forward to the day when we too can meet you and share in this newfound friendship.  As a side note, Randi survived her cancer too!  Not knowing at the time if her ability to have children had survived cancer too, she and Tyson are now the parents of 4 wonderful little children – all of whom love Madi too as they all live together in and around Dallas, Texas.

All the best to you and your loving family and friends!

Love, Mike & Brenda Traveller

———————-

Dear Madi,

We are so—- excited that we can finally meet you. You are our “Angel“and we are eternally grateful for your gift of your bone marrow that saved our Libby’s life!! Our entire family can’t wait to thank you in person. You will always be our heroine. What a compassionate person you are. I am Libby’s mother, Betty, so thankful!!

———————-

Dear Libby,

I just got a package today from your mom with some amazing cook books!!! I’m so excited to try them out!! That was so sweet of her to send them to me so quickly!!

Madi

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Hi Madi,

It’s Sheri, Libby’s sister.  I’m so excited that we get to connect with you.  I have prayed for you this last year, and I am forever thankful for the selfless, life-saving gift you gave to Lib – actually to our whole family! You are going to love her!  She is truly one of the best, most loving, talented, sweetest and most caring people on this earth.  I hope one day we can all meet face to face.  Can’t wait to get to know you!

Thank you again for saving Libby’s life!  What an amazing gift!

Much Love, Sheri

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Hi Sherri!

Thank you so much for reaching out! And thank you so much for the beautiful ring and letter you sent me at the beginning of this journey! I have thought of that saying “Every Cell Is Well” that is engraved on the inside of the ring a lot over the last year, and it has been so fun hearing Libby’s story and connecting all the pieces!
Libby is amazing! It has been so fun getting to know her! She has told me lots about your family and you all seem so amazing too! It is so special that you were able to be with her through the whole transplant process.
I look forward to getting to know your family better, and hopefully meeting sometime soon!

Thank you so much for reaching out!
Madi

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Hello Madi. This is Alex Patrick, Libby’s son. I wanted to thank you for what you have done for me and for all of the people that look up to her for inspiration and for positivity. I want to keep this short but from the bottom of my heart i wish you and your family well and i hope to meet you one day to personally thank you for all that you have done and are continuing to do.

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Here are some pictures 🙂 I’ll tell you a little bit about each one.

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Me, my sister Kennedy, my Grandma Traveller, my brother Riley, and his daughter Layla. Last summer Kennedy, my grandma and I took a “Girls Trip” to Boston to visit Riley and his cute family. Riley, his wife Nicole, daughter Layla (4 years old), and son Sean (1 year old) are the best tour guides! This was us picking blueberries in a fun orchard by their house. My grandmother lives in Twin Falls close to my parents. But this was her first time in Boston, so we got to show her all the fun things, and eat a lot of fun New England foods!

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These are my Best friends! From left to right is my sister Kennedy, Mckenzie, (me), and then Alexa. Kennedy has always been my built in best friend, and has always fit in and been just as good of friends with all my friends as I am! Haha I’ve known Mckenzie since I was 8 years old when my family moved across the street from hers. And Alexa I have known my whole life. It is kind of a funny story, our dads went to high school together, and our moms went to high school together. When my parents started dating they introduced her parents to each other. We have known each other forever and I think we made our parents dreams come true when we became as good of friends as they were. Haha

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This is of my mom and I getting pedicures the day after the bone marrow harvest! So this would have been the day you were getting the cells! I remember after donating I kept wondering how soon it would be until the cells got to you! It was February 25th that I donated the cells, and then you got them the next day!

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This is my family! This was taken at Christmas in 2018. And it’s crazy because this was the last time we were all together! Since this picture Riley and Nicole have added Sean to their family, and he is turning 1 this month. And Tyson and Randi have added Jack to their family. From left to right on this one. Me, holding Hank, Randi, she is holding Rosie, Tyson is behind them, then my Mom, her arm is around Will. My dad is next her, and then Kennedy, Nicole, and Riley, and their daughter Layla is almost running out of the picture haha.

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And lastly I wanted to show my family dog, Tayo. She is miniature labradoodle and we love her so much! After my brother were both out of the house, Kennedy and I convinced my parents we needed a dog! Haha. And she has been such a great addition, we love her so much!

 

10 thoughts on “Madisen! You have saved my life!

  1. Oh My goodness. Madisen, YOU are a true hero. Libby is like a sister to me and I could not imagine losing her. YOU saved her! Thank you a million and a half times! What a wonderful family you have. I loved seeing the photos. You are brave and wonderful. Libby is so lucky to have your bone marrow! We love you, Jan Daulton.

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  2. So glad to hear that you finally got to meet your donor!! She seems a lot like you with a loving family and a lot of similar interest, caring and love! Know y’all can’t wait to meet! Looks like she loves dogs like y’all do🤣

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  3. Hello Madi!
    This is Sherry, a friend of Libby, Carl, Alex and the entire Sims family. My only child, Molly, age 23, and Alex (24) met in kindergarten. We have had the privilege of traveling and celebrating with Libby’s family since then. I’ve always said, “If you are lucky enough to be born a Sims, you are lucky enough.” The Sims family is beyond amazing! It is obvious you and your family share the same bonds. This is a match made in heaven!! I am so appreciative and cannot thank you enough for saving our precious Libby. She is the kindest, dearest, most fun, compassionate and toughest person I know. I do believe you are soul sisters. Thank you again, dearest Madi. Please stay safe!

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  4. Madi, I met the amazing Libby through her sister Lisa. I cannot tell you what a special family YOU are now a part of with the Sims/Patricks. From the correspondence I have read and seeing your lovely family I know that your family is special, too. When I read this post I cried tears of love and joy. Thank you, thank you for your selfless giving. May there always be blessings upon you!

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  5. Madi,
    I know the amazing Libby through her sister Lisa. What a wonderful family YOU are now a part of with the Sims/Patricks. When I read this blog post and read the correspondence I cried tears of joy. It is obvious that your family is just as fantastic. I wish you blessings always!
    Vanessa

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  6. Sherry, Shannon, Vanessa, Jan Daulton, Jan Worthy and Stephanie!!!, Thank you for taking time to read and write on the blog and for being a part of my journey to meet Madi!! I love each of you! Love and hugs,
    Libby

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  7. Dearest Madi,
    These are the moments and gifts that make a truly amazing life. Your decision to share yourself is awe-inspiring. Libby – her sparkly blue eyes and effervescent smile have been both a mentor and friend for over 20 years. We originally met at work where she is an absolute powerhouse because she is authentic and truly cares about the people in those spaces she designs so thoughtfully. Later, we learned we also went to the same college and share some of the same special friends. Madi, we have all been praying for you to come along. God’s miracle housed in you. I am eternally grateful,
    Holley

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