FDNY honors its bone marrow donors, pairs them up with recipients

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The FDNY held its 13th annual ceremony to honor bone marrow donors Friday, pairing them up face-to-face with the people they've saved. The FDNY held its 13th annual ceremony to honor bone marrow donors Friday, pairing them up face-to-face with the people they've saved.
NEW YORK -

The FDNY held its 13th annual ceremony to honor bone marrow donors Friday, pairing them up face-to-face with the people they've saved.

"Many people volunteer but don't come forward when asked," says FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro. "The members of the New York City Fire Department always come forward when asked."

The bone marrow donation procedure takes about half a day, and its results are often lifesaving. 

Jamie Tefft, a mother of three, wiped away tears as she met William Curley, the man whose donation saved her from a deadly blood and bone marrow cancer. Such cancers are diagnosed about once every three minutes around the country, and doctors say the most effective treatment is a bone marrow transplant.

"I was lost for words because I was a single mom, so I didn't know what was going to happen," Tefft says. She had undergone chemotherapy for three years before doctors told her they found a match.

Curley, an FDNY EMT from Bed-Stuy, is among 8,000 members of the department who have registered as bone marrow donors.

"I'm just overjoyed to finally meet Jamie," he says.  "I feel like I have a new family member."

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