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Michigan man meets German bone marrow donor who saved his life

DETROIT – Two people who have never met before share an incredible bond through a bone marrow donation.

Eva Frentzen, who is from Germany, saved the life of Mark Jones, from White Lake, Michigan, with a lifesaving transplant.

Frentzen registered as a bone marrow donor with DKMS, a nonprofit battling against blood cancer. She registered as part of a campaign for an 8-year-old girl in her town who needed a donor.

When she received notice that she was a match for a man in America, she responded immediately. On May 17, 2017, Frentzen donated her stem cells to save Jones' life. Frentzen is hoping more people see their story and are encouraged to become a donor. 

"Can't thank her enough. It's just the most incredible thing that's ever happened. I wouldn't be here," Jones said.

Jones was hospitalized and on life support with a leukemia diagnosis. His wife, Jane Jones, stayed by his side during the difficult moments.

"I was in ICU, just trying to stay alive," Mark Jones said.

He needed a bone marrow transplant and was matched with Frentzen, a donor who was an ocean away.

"Once we found out a little bit about her, that she was from Germany, a woman and that she was willing to just do this on a super short notice, my heart just collapsed," Mark Jones said.

The couple are finally meeting the woman who saved his life.

Watch the video above for the full report from Local 4 News at 5.


About the Authors:

Koco McAboy

Koco McAboy was born and raised in Metro Detroit. She joined the Local 4 News team in September of 2016, and worked at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids prior to that. Koco went to Central Michigan University where she graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Broadcast and Cinematic Arts with minors in Spanish and Political Science.

Kayla Clarke

Kayla is a web producer with an English degree from Michigan State University. Before joining the ClickOnDetroit team in 2018, she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.