11 News reporter saves child’s life with bone marrow donation

An 11 News reporter gave the gift of life to an 8-year-old boy.
Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 7:27 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - When an 8-year-old needed bone marrow to save his life, an 11 News reporter answered the call.

Megan Hiler is currently recovering following surgery earlier this month to provide life-saving bone marrow to a child she has never met.

“[The Bone Marrow Registry] basically told me this could save his life, so that’s why I didn’t really hesitate.”

The journey began with a swab about a year ago, when Hiler was working in Michigan. The swab took seconds. This donation was organized through DKMS, a nonprofit bone marrow donor center. Click here to learn more about them or to register to be a potential donor.

“It’s super simple to do it and you could save a life,” she said at the time.

One month ago, her phone rang.

“I think it was a New York area code, and I thought that was really weird, but something compelled me to answer it, so I did. They basically said, ‘Hey, you’re Megan Hiler!' and I was like, ‘Yeah,' ... and they said, ‘You could be a match on the Bone Marrow Registry.’ And I had even forgotten that I’d done it, so I was really confused at first, but then they kind of explained it and set up another phone call.”

She was told she was the perfect match to save an 8-year-old battling a blood disease so rare, John Hopkins Medicine says it only affects 1 million people worldwide.

“When they told me I was a match -- even if it was just a chance to save his life -- I think anybody would’ve done it.”

One week ago, she flew to Chicago for surgery.

“I’m walking, I’m eating, I’m doing everything fine," she said of her recovery just days later.

And said she’d be willing to do it all over again.

Since her procedure, Hiler has been told the boy received her bone marrow donation, beginning a whole new chapter in his life.

“To be able to not only give this kid a shot at a normal life, but his family piece of mind -- they don’t have to worry about him, they don’t have to say, like, ‘Oh, are we going to get through this Christmas?’ ... I have a normal life, now he has a normal life, and that’s just huge for me. I’m really excited.”

As 11 News viewers know, organ donations are a cause close to our hearts, after losing coworker Dustin Cuzick to kidney disease. He died waiting for a new kidney.

Now that Hiler has been on the other side of it, she wants others to know how easy it is to help another.

“If you have the opportunity to do this just for a week of discomfort and maybe a little bit of pain, at least look into it. ... You can save a kid’s life just for a week of discomfort.”

If you’re interested in donating bone marrow, click here for more information.

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