Howie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in Auguest 2001, less than one year after he got married. His only hope for a cure was a marrow transplant. Howie was adopted, native to the Azores Islands, which made his search for a donor a little more difficult. Despite having a diverse heritage, Howie had six perfect cord blood matches and was the first adult to receive a cord blood transplant in Oklahoma.
Howie relapsed and received a second cord blood transplant in 2003, making him the first adult in the state to receive two cord blood transplants. Howie and his wife, Kimberly, are enthusiastic supporters of Be The Match and have attended multiple Legislative Days in Washington D.C., gaining support of the programs that the National Marrow Donor Program operates.
Howie was again able to join us on Capitol Hill earlier this month to talk with the Congress about the importance of continued funding for the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program. He was also excited to share that he was being featured on Oklahoma News 9 as part of a story on a new public cord blood bank opening in the area.