Fire chief donates bone marrow to child in need

Credit: Boise Fire Dept.

Chief Dennis Doan prepares to donate bone marrow at a Salt Lake City hospital earlier this month.

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on December 17, 2013 at 10:48 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 18 at 8:33 AM

BOISE -- Members of the Boise Fire Department dedicate their lives and careers to serving others -- and that level of service can be truly outstanding.

Case in point: Boise's fire chief donated much-needed bone marrow to a stranger last week.

Chief Dennis Doan traveled to Salt Lake City on Thursday to donate his bone marrow after finding he was a match for a child who badly needed it.

"It was neat to have the opportunity," said Doan. "When I got the call, I didn't think twice about it. A lot of people have asked about the pain and the discomfort, there's a little bit, but not enough to deter me from doing this."

Doan donated three cups of bone marrow for a kid in need, and in order to harvest the marrow, doctors pierced into his hipbone 300 times.

Doan has been on the registry for about 20 years, and registered when a battalion chief's daughter got leukemia.

"She got sick and so all of us tried to be her match, and that's how we got on the list," Doan said.

Doan said several department members joined the registry at that time, and two other firefighters have since donated bone marrow.

"It was uncomfortable, but that's it," he said, describing the pain. "Can you imagine what somebody else is going through? And a little discomfort for me and a little inconvenience for a few days is nothing compared to what they're going through."

Doan flew home the evening of his donation and has been recovering. Tuesday was his first full day back on the job.

Doan says the recipient of his marrow was a child, but he can't share any other details. Within a year, his recipient will be allowed to contact him.

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