08-19-2012 I MET MY DONOR, ROBERT!

What an awesome week I had!  On August 8th and 9th, Wade and I were in Houston at MD Anderson for my appointments.  My appointment with Dr. Hosing went very well!  We enjoyed dinners with friends and family, visited the 11th floor where I was hospitalized for my transplant, ran into Alison Gulbis, my PharmD, and had a visit and hug with Dr. Garcia-Manero!  It was all so very good!  I will blog about all of this next week and post some photos.  I got some great photos I will share!

We then flew to Philadelphia to meet Robert and his family.  Our flight was delayed due to weather, but we finally arrived at the hotel (The Inn at Penn – which is next to the Penn campus – a great place to stay).  The Gawlas family was waiting for us there.  It was an unbelievable experience to meet Robert and his family!  He was there with his parents, Bob and Cathy, brother David, and sister Katie.  I had waited a long time for this!  Yes, I was teary…happy tears to finally meet the young man who had saved my life!  It was an indescribable experience!  There are no words to describe it!  We went to dinner at Fogo de Chao and it was delicious.

                                                                                                                  Left to right:  David, Robert, Katie, Cathy, Bob, me and Wade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ROBERT!

The next day, Robert gave us a tour of the University of Pennsylvania campus which is a beautiful campus.  The University is the 4th oldest in the United States, founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin.  We ended up in the football stadium where Robert plays football.  This will be his senior year.  Wade and I hope to go to one of his games:)  Like when Penn plays Harvard since his brother David plays football for Harvard!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The Love Sign UPenn campus

That afternoon we saw the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the US Mint.

                                                                                                                                     The Liberty Bell, Robert and Katie with Independence Hall in the background.

After a little rest, we loaded up and went to eat Philadelphia Cheese Steak sandwiches on our way to a Phillies game.  Geno’s and Pat’s are across the street from one another and in big competition to have the Number One Philly Cheese Steak so we got sandwiches from both places and tried them both.  You gotta order them with “Cheese Whiz wit” or “Cheese Whiz without” (grilled onions).  They were delicious, well worth the wait!  You definitely have to get Cheese Whiz.  It just melts into the steak!  Notice the lines and the traffic in the pictures!  We voted and half of us liked Geno’s best, the other half, Pat’s.  It was a toss up!

                                                                                                                         This is a mural on a brick building next to Geno’s.  Pretty cool!

Visiting all of the major league baseball parks is on my bucket list, and Robert (not knowing this) suggested we all go to the Phillies/Cardinals game Saturday night.  I was thrilled!  It’s a great ballpark.  I especially liked the Liberty Bell that lights up anytime the Phillies hit a home run.  Unfortunately we didn’t get to watch the bell do its special thing that night…no home runs!  Robert’s girlfriend, Teresa, joined us for the cheese steaks and game.  It was lots of fun!

                                                                                                                                                                                                Bob, David, and Cathy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Robert and Teresa

After the game it was time to say goodbye which was very difficult.  There were lots of tears from me and lots of hugs.  I was not wanting the weekend to be over!   It truly was an amazing weekend spent with the most unselfish, giving person and his wonderful family, the one who gave me my life back.  Thank you Robert!  And thank you Cathy and Bob!

A few final thoughts:  Roberta, from Be the Match, the bone marrow registry, told me that Robert and I would be a lot alike since we have the exact same DNA.  Over this weekend visit it became apparent!  To be so different and at the same time share the very same DNA is mind blowing.  One thing is for sure…the Gawlas family felt like family from the very beginning when we met.  It was never awkward or uncomfortable.  It was more like discovering a missing link in my life!  And there is definitely a special connection there!  I hope they will always be a part of my life!  I will be forever thankful for Robert!  I love you Robert!  You are AWESOME!

Please get into the bone marrow registry at BeTheMatch.com so that you can possibly save a life just like Robert did!

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21 thoughts on “08-19-2012 I MET MY DONOR, ROBERT!

  1. Laura Barber says:

    Crying as I’m reading this … with tears of joy! So happy for you … I’ve been waiting to see your posts and photos! You have inspired me so much … I’ve been working feverishly on our blog this weekend (want people who know nothing yet to be able to read the timeline and get caught up over the last 2.5 years) … thank you!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Holly, I have been following your blog for over a year. So glad to see you met your donor. I was at MD Anderson last summer with my mother who has AML. So glad you were young enough to get a transplant. Do you mind if I ask your age? Love and hugs, Sharon

    • hollyeasley says:

      Sharon, I am 57 years old…sometimes I feel about 97 or so, but its getting better! Hahaha! Fortunately I was young and healthy enough for transplant. I hope your mom is doing well with her treatment. Thanks for being a faithful follower!

  3. Loved reading every second of this, Holly! Thank you for sharing your story with the world!!! xoxo

  4. Jim and Glo says:

    Hi Holly,
    Loved reading about your meeting with Robert and his family. I sincerely hope that we get to meet them some day. They are obviously very special people! Hugs!

  5. Dianna says:

    Holy, so happy for you. Glad it was a great meeting. If he is half the person you are, then our world is blessed by two. I think he has already proved that. Hugs. Dianna

  6. Dianna says:

    Can’t type with one finger….Holly, lol dianna

  7. Mikie Bishop says:

    Hey Holly, Loved your photos and the week-end sounded like soooo much fun. I am not one bit surprised that it went well because you are awesome yourself. We love you, Mikie & Dwayne

  8. Becky Scurlock says:

    Oh Holly, you know that I am thrilled for you to get to meet Robert! He is a wonderful young man and his family is beautiful. I sincerely thank God for him and his selfless donation. I’m so glad that you and Wade got to spend time with them and also enjoy the city.
    Love to you and Wade,
    Becky

  9. Holly, you SO rock in that matching black & white headgear and shirt! And here I thought the Perseid meteor shower was early — you must have been flying by! Go, Stardust, go!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Holly, OMG,that was a awesome Blog about you and your donor. Dear Jesus how do you ever thank someone so special. Awww I would still be crying with joy. It gave me goose bumps when I read this article, and I bet your children would love to meet him, I know I would if I could. It bought tears to my eyes also. How are you doing, you look so cute the day you met him. Talked to your dad the other day, so sounded pretty good, but I know he misses your mom so bad. He said he was still sleeping on the sofa, but that’s ok, he probably still feels her presents.
    Holly so happy for you and I miss so very much seeing you guys. One of these days I’m going to take a short trip and come see you and Wade. Tell him hello, you both looked so sweet in the pictures. God Bless you my friend, I love ya’ll. Pat

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