Illinois State Police trooper saves woman's life with bone marrow transplant

 Illinois SP Trooper is donor

A simple donation making a big difference in one woman’s life. Illinois State Police Trooper Jeremy Carnes said he expected this decision to change the life of the woman he donated to but he didn't expect it to also change his. "Man, I can't even put it into words," said Carnes. He smiles when talking about a process that some may deem scary. But for Trooper Carnes, it has shown him a new side to life. "It started when I was up in Chicago," said Carnes. While on a trip, he made a simple decision that changed and intertwined two separate lives. "I saw the Be The Match booth there signing people up for the registry," said Carnes. Now he knows danger and sees it every day. He has seen the same headlines as everyone else that show friends and fellow troopers dying from things out of their control while serving the state. But signing up to save someone from danger was never a question for Carnes. "It was probably one of the easier decisions I've ever had to make," he said. When the call came that he might be a match and then that he was a bone marrow match, it hit him all at once what was about to happen. "The surge of emotion like I really didn't know, I didn't have any words to express what I was feeling," said Carnes. Now, he has never met the woman whose life he saved. Right now, him and Kathryn are only united by a bone marrow transplant and a handful of emails. But that changed on Saturday night. "To be able to meet in this fashion at a major event like this, pretty blessed to say the least,” said Carnes. Both will be attending the Be The Match gala in Minneapolis, which is something Carnes said has been months in the making. "I'm excited to finally meet her in real life. Excited to see Kathryn as healthy as can be," he said. An excitement often seen in moments that are life changing. Kathryn has been fighting an auto immune disease and Carnes said she is already noticing incredible improvements, including improving arthritis to the point that she is ready to participate in a 5K.

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