Central Ohio man beats the odds thanks to bone marrow donor from Israel
A Granville man has a second chance of life, thanks to an Israeli soldier.
Michael Bragalone fought a life-threatening blood cancer for the past 15 years but his doctors said he only had few years to live and he needed a bone marrow transplant.
"In 2015 my immune system was weakening, shutting down,” said Michael Bragalone, who is now cancer free.
Bragalone never imagined he would beat a rare, incurable, and deadly blood cancer. He was diagnosed with a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma called “lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma,” or Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia, in March 2001.
"The combination of the infection being in my blood along with the chemo almost killed me,” said Bragalone.
And to make matters worse, his wife Candice was dying of breast cancer in the midst of Michael's medical storm.
"In her dying days she looked at me and said Mike I believe you're going to get a cure,” said Bragalone.
His wife died a few years ago.
Things did take a turn for the better, in part because of doctors at The James Cancer Hospital and a bone marrow transplant last year: a 100-percent match was found outside the U.S.
Bragalone connected with that donor about a month ago. He’s a 19-year-old member of the military from Israel. Bragalone is now using his new lease of life to help others.
"I believe that God had come into me and healed me and has given me a second chance at life,” said the cancer survivor.
He volunteers at The James Cancer Hospital as he tries to make an impact and pushes others to do the same.
"I want to be inspiring to them to live and to live strong like I am,” he said.