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Middleton healthcare provider meets a stranger who saves her life

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – A Middleton health care provider attended an event where he met a stranger who decided to save his life two years ago.

“I was diagnosed in 2022 with a rare form of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia,” said Jill Poarch.

Nurse Jill Poarch, 68, received a life-saving bone marrow transplant.

“You know it’s been almost two years since the transplant and I feel like I’m doing good, I’m feeling good and I’ve recently gone back to work,” Poarch said.

At the UW Carbone Cancer Center’s first Bone Marrow Transplant Celebration of Life, she met her donor for the first time Saturday.

“We exchanged a few and exchanged pictures with our dogs. I look forward to seeing him and thanking him for his gift,” Poarch said.

Thirty-year-old Garrett Taylor lives in Phoenix and knows how important sacrifice is.

“I have family that previously needed a transplant. I had a cousin who had two double lung transplants,” Taylor said.

He was more than happy to make one himself.

“Honestly, I feel like my part of it really wasn’t so much that I just got the call, you know I showed up and did what I thought was the right thing,” Taylor said.

The gathering is a chance to connect and reflect, but also to share about the future.

“I want to thank the patients themselves; you know you are an outstanding example to all of us, your strength and your courage and your resilience to keep going and get through the most difficult times,” said Dr. Natalie Callander.

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