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Bradenton nurse donates bone marrow to teen he never met

Nurse travels to Washington, D.C. to help teen
Posted at 10:39 PM, Dec 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-20 23:39:26-05

Bradenton, Fla.- A nurse who works in the operating room of Blake Medical Center donated his bone marrow to help a teen with leukemia in Washington, D.C.

The two have never met.

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Nathan Hansen works 10 hour shifts at the hospital. He's worked at Blake Medical Center for 7 years and he's been a nurse for two years.

He signed up four years ago to be a donor. He signed up on "Be the Match."

"Be the Match" is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program and has managed the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world.

"You just sign up online and they send you a swab and you send them a cheek swab back and you're on the list," said Nathan Hanse, nurse.

Recently, Hansen matched with a teen with leukemia so he traveled to Washington, D.C. to donate his bone marrow. The teen needed a life-saving transplant.

"They take two drill bits to your back and suction the bone marrow out of your pelvis," said Hansen.

Every 3 minutes someone is diagnosed with blood cancer and 70% of patients do not have a fully matched donor in their family, according to "Be the Match."

Hansen says it's strangers relying on strangers.

"I just feel it is something I should do, a list I should be on. If I could help out, I would. That's why I did it," said Hansen.

Hansen says he donates blood and it prompted him to join the bone marrow registry.

His fellow co-workers at Blake Medical Center gave him the "New Nurse of the Year" award for his generosity.

Hansen will be allowed to meet the recipient of his bone marrow after a year. Right now, he has little details on the teen because of medical privacy laws.