Digital Original: AR man donates bone marrow to stranger; saves child’s life

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CABOT, Ark. – Some may call him a real-life superhero.

However, if you ask, Steven Rowell, 31, of Cabot, a San Antonio native, he will say he’s just a “regular Joe.”

It all happened back in 2012 when Rowell decided to register to become a blood cancer donor outside his gym.

DKMS, a nonprofit leading the fight against blood cancer, was hosting a drive for a child in need of a bone marrow transplant.

Well, as luck would have it, Rowell was a match – but wouldn’t find out for another six years.

“Actually I completely forgot about it,” he explains.

December of 2018, he received the phone call that would forever change a stranger’s life.

“I didn’t think twice,” says Rowell. “It’s the right thing to do – that’s why you do it.”

Rowell says he immediately thought of his happy and healthy six-year-old daughter and knew as a father he had to help.

“I want her to grow up knowing you do things because it’s the right thing to do, not because you need recognition,” he continues.

Rowell says he was a match for a child battling a rare form of blood cancer who lives in another country. However, because of strict policy, he is not able to know any other information.

“I didn’t want to know if they were old or young,” adds Rowell.

This past June, Rowell, donated bone marrow, giving this child, this stranger the greatest gift of all – a second chance at life.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” says Rowell. “Treat others as you would want to be treated. The Golden Rule.”

According to DKMS, 70% of people suffering from blood-related illnesses must rely on donors outside their families to save their lives.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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