Woman Finds Marrow Donor – with Rihanna's Aid
A "guardian angel" comes forward after the singer tells PEOPLE about the donor search
After singer Rihanna put out a plea for help, a leukemia-stricken New York City woman has found a bone marrow donor.
“Today a 32-year-old guardian angel consented to be my donor, even though in all likelihood she has never met me and does not know who I am,” Lisa Gershowitz-Flynn, 41, a lawyer, wrote in an email to supporters Thursday.
“While we cannot verify the source of the donor,” Flynn adds, “this angel was most likely found through the efforts of my family and friends, as well as complete strangers who heard about my story and took it upon themselves to aid in the effort to find a donor.”
After PEOPLE exclusively reported Rihanna’s campaign to find a donor for Flynn, more than 5,000 readers contacted DKMS, the world’s leading bone marrow donor center, to become potential donors.
Even better, “We actually recruited and registered roughly 2,000 new donors, just from phone calls and emails we got – and it’s continuing,” says Katharina Harf, executive vice president of DKMS.
After finding the match, Flynn is now awaiting the bone marrow transplant.
“My life will be saved because of you, my family and friends (old and new),” Flynn writes. “My children (Michael, 5, and Alexandra, 3) will have their mother, my husband will have his wife, and my parents will have their daughter.”
Flynn is beyond thrilled that she has found a match.
“The English language does not have words that are adequate to thank someone for working to save your life,” she says. “Please continue to spread the word about how important it is to fill the bone marrow registry with donors to save others.”