CHESAPEAKE, Va. — When we first introduced you to Lisa Brandt in July, she was showing us around her CrossFit gym in Chesapeake.
The career firefighter beat cancer three years ago, only to find out recently she has an extremely rare bone marrow disorder.
If she didn’t find a donor she would only have years to live.
“Of the 14 million people in the registry, I didn’t match one,” said Brandt.
It was crushing to hear there wasn’t a match, but what we didn’t know at the time was that Lisa’s younger sister Nicole was waiting on her results to come back.
Then about two weeks ago, Lisa got the call.
“I came out of the house because she was outside,” said Lisa. “I said that 'it looks like you’re my match!'”
It’s now an incredible change in spirit for Lisa, knowing there was little hope before that call. The chances of her matching with her sister were just around 25 percent.
But Nicole never lost hope.
“She didn’t need to look that hard, because I was right in front of her,” said Nicole. “I said, 'You don’t have to worry, I’m the match.'”
The sisters still have health screenings along with another meeting with doctors at VCU at the end of the month. But the biggest bridge has been crossed.
With a successful stem cell transplant, Nicole will literally save her big sister’s life.
“We are going to be with each other and grow old with each other,” said Nicole. “It’s just the way it is.”