Local News

1 Year Later, Cary Woman Meets Bone Marrow Donor

Posted November 12, 2002 9:44 a.m. EST

— A Cary woman was on the brink of death because of leukemia about a year ago, but she is alive today, thanks to a bone marrow transplant from a woman she feels like she has known forever.

Karen Sos, 44, of Cary, has been waiting a whole year to thank the woman who saved her life. When the moment came, Sos was overcome with emotion.

Sos fought leukemia for five years. Drugs did not work for her; only a bone marrow transplant would. Doctors searched the entire country, but they could not find a match until about a year ago.

"We were at the point where I had to have a transplant and they did another search, and that's when they found Karen," Sos said.

Karen Jarvis, of Winston-Salem, saved the life of Sos. The name and the North Carolina connection are not all they have in common.

"Karen and Karen, North Carolina, cul de sac, same development name, it's amazing, blond hair," she said.

Both Karens shared their stories, gifts and happiness to meet each other one year after the transplant. They also talked about the importance of bone marrow donors, especially minority ones.

"A lot of ethnic groups -- Chinese, Indian, black, Arabs, they don't have as many of them, so if it was a needle in a haystack for me, you can imagine the odds for them," Sos said.

"If you get a chance to get on the bone marrow registry, anywhere, anytime do it because we're putting a face on the need," Jarvis said.

Sos' neighbors in Cary have really gotten involved in the effort to fight leukemia. One neighbor marked the anniversary with a kids' marathon to raise money for research.