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Playing Willy Wonka in America for a week for the German man who saved my wife’s life with bone marrow

Posted on 21 November 2016 by Nestor Aparicio

Now that it’s taken me a few days to recover from my mystery surprise vacation, it’s time to come clean on how all of the elements of the #NielsInTheUSA tour came together during his epic, whirlwind week of travel across the continent in search of Dirk Nowitzki.

The more we posted pictures from various places and with many friends, celebrities and people involved in Jenn’s fight for her life in battling leukemia, the more questions folks had about the journey.

All of it was a secret for him. It was designed that way because he told us he loves surprises. It was also his dream trip to America – the first time he’d traveled outside of Europe.

It all began with his initial letter, which we received on August 7, 2014 – just 42 days after he anonymously donated his bone marrow to Jenn from Germany that saved her life on June 26, 2014. Read the letter here: http://wnst.net/wnst/jennstrong-receives-the-greatest-life-and-love-letter-ever-written-from-germany/

WARNING: If you do not click on the above link and read the letter, you’ll miss the whole point of everything you’re about to read and you’ll never understand what you witnessed in pictures earlier in November. Please read it before you proceed…

(Yes, really!)

You’ll be glad you did…

***

German law states that donors must wait two years before they can be introduced to a survivor. We knew in August 2014 that Jenn would have to survive and thrive for the next 22 months in order to meet him.

As many of you know, Jenn’s leukemia returned last September and she needed her still-anonymous initial donor to once again give his lymphocytes to save her life on Nov. 19, 2015. This was our best shot to cure her cancer through an awful process known as “graft vs. host disease,” which she has spent much of this calendar year experiencing most of the gruesome aftershocks of her survival last winter.

On the afternoon of June 30th, we received an email from our John Hopkins transplant coordinator with the name of the angel who saved her life.

For two years we only knew that he was male, from Germany and 21 at the time of his donation of bone marrow to save a stranger’s life in America. All he knew was that it was a 41-year old woman in America he was trying to save with his blood.

His name was Niels Domogalla, now 23, and he lives in Witten, Germany. Despite having his email address, Jenn and I dove onto the internet and she found him on Facebook within 30 seconds.

She friended him. I friended him. We both began to write short letters of introduction but before we could finish them he had already friended us both back and had commented on our walls.

It was 4:30 in the afternoon in America. It was 10:30 in the evening in Germany.

And, so, a unique friendship was berthed.

And what, exactly, do you say to a person who saved your life?

 

***

 

It didn’t take us long to realize that this was a special and unique young man in Germany. First, he really was concerned about the quality and the grammar of his English. He speaks parts of four languages and his English is about 96% perfect, which is better than …

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Drew’s Morning Dish — Wed., April 24

Posted on 24 April 2013 by Drew Forrester

Well, that’s the end of Dylan Bundy’s career.

Unreal.

I’m kidding.

While I’ll admit it’s never good to see your name linked with Dr. James Andrews, unless he’s getting you on at Augusta National, I wouldn’t be overly concerned with Bundy’s visit to see the good doctor.

He fixes people, in case you haven’t heard.

And even if they find something structurally unsound in his forearm, that’s what Andrews is there for…to get it right.

Lots of folks will panic over Tuesday’s news, but let’s allow it to all play out and then go from there.  It’s not like Bundy was going to come up in July and go 11-2 in his 13 starts with a 2.49 ERA.  That just wasn’t going to happen.  So, this Orioles team won’t be affected at all by any decision made by Dr. Andrews.

Get the kid’s arm fixed and let’s move on.

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Nice work by the Capitals on Tuesday night to fend off a pesky Winnipeg team and win the Southeast Division with that 5-3 win in D.C.

That was a hockey player’s game on Tuesday.  In fact, really, it closely resembled “playoff hockey”, which hopefully prepares the Caps for what lies ahead in May.

The work Ovechkin put in on the game-clinching empty net goal was an indication that his effort level has drastically changed under Adam Oates.  He started the whole play twenty seconds earlier by applying pressure near the middle of the ice as a loose puck rolled back in the Winnipeg end.  Ovi kept fighting along the boards long enough for Backstrom to come in behind him and get involved in the play.  As a loose puck appeared and Backstrom swooped in to collect it, Ovechkin realized he was going to be in an offsides position and hustled some fifteen feet or so back into the neutral zone.  Now onside, The Great Eight collected a nice pass from Backstrom and slapped it in from 35 feet for the backbreaker.

This time two years ago, I’m not sure Ovechkin would have put in that kind of effort.

For sure, last season, Dale Hunter would have been mad at Backstrom and Ovechkin for both being in the offensive end of the ice at the same time.

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I’m guessing the Ravens haven’t cut Rolando McClain yet because they’d rather not give away their position prior to Thursday’s NFL draft.

In other words, if they cut him, they’re letting 31 other teams know they’re linebacker-shopping again.

I assume sometime next week he’ll be gone.

Right?

I mean, I realize he went to Alabama and all, but Ozzie’s not really going to keep Rolando McClain, is he?

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That Stephen Curry kid can really shoot the basketball.

And, because he didn’t go to Duke, he’s actually likeable.

Everything about him looks Duke-ish, and it’s hard to believe Coach K didn’t get him, but he somehow flew under the radar screen and wound up at Davidson of all places.

But he can absolutely shoot the ball as well as anyone I’ve seen in a long time.

And those jerseys they’re wearing in Golden State…wow x 5!  How they ever lose a game wearing those duds, I have no idea.

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Hey, did you read that story about the two Flyers fans who both wound up getting Rhodes Scholarship offers in the same year?

Yeah, me neither.

 

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