Years after they overcame life-threatening illnesses, Amy Alcorn and Jonathan Lamont Ragland publicly embraced Michael Wilson and Fredrick Perdue, firefighters of the Fire Department of New York, without whom the pair may have failed to receive the peripheral blood stem cells that ultimately saved their lives. The recipients and donors exchanged hugs and ‘thank yous’ on stage at the FDNY’s and NYBC’s 12th annual “Honor Roll of Life” event this past Friday, April 29th at FDNY Headquarters. Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro, Christopher D. Hillyer, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of NYBC and Howard P. Milstein, Chairman of NYBC’s Board of Trustees, shared the privilege of introducing the recipients to their donors for the first time, and inducted eight FDNY firefighters to the Honor Roll of Life for donating bone marrow/stem cells in 2015.

 

(L to R): Chairman of NYBC's Board of Trustees, Howard Milstein, President and CEO of NYBC, Christopher D. Hillyer, MD, and Director of Bureau of Health Services, Mary McLaughlin

The FDNY members inducted into the 2015 Honor of Life were: Firefighter Daniel Cowhig, Jr., Ladder Company 82; Firefighter David Curtin, Ladder Company 106; Firefighter Bruno Joseph, Engine Company 240; Firefighter Shaun McCormack, Engine Company 293; Firefighter Christopher Morrissey, Ladder Company 127; Firefighter Marty Party, Engine Company 1; Retired Fire Marshal Anthony Scolavino; and Firefighter Adam Trugman, Engine Company 285.

 

(L to R): Firefighter Michael Wilson of Ladder Company 166 in Brooklyn, bone marrow recipient Amy Alcorn, recipient Jonathan Lamont Ragland, and Firefighter Fredrick Purdue of Engine Company 67 in the Bronx.

The annual ceremony symbolizes humanitarianism and gratitude with NYBC’s and FDNY’s communities uniting to celebrate the impact that the New York firefighters have every year on patients in need. A great donation source, the FDNY accounts for NYBC’s single largest group of bone marrow and stem cell donors. The emotional ceremony showcased two of the many lives that are saved through this established partnership. Alcorn and Ragland, both enduring vulnerable circumstances, received a second chance at life with the contributions of New York’s “bravest.” Alcorn, who previously suffered from Myelodysplastic Syndrome, received the peripheral blood stem cells from Wilson in 2010 – and has since been cured of Leukemia. Ragland suffered from a rare chronic blood disorder called Essential Thrombocythemia, and received peripheral blood stem cells from Perdue in 2013 – and is now three years cancer-free. Both recipients expressed respect and appreciation for their donors and for the Be The Match® program that made it all possible. Gifted with the invaluable, donors Perdue and Wilson are never far from the minds of their recipients as they cherish what they now have: a boundless future with their beloved children.

Click here to view the story on the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation website.