Priest's adult stem cell donation saves life of Kentucky mother of 2
stem-cell research and the treatment options developed from adult stem cells, placenta blood, umbilical cord blood.
"The only time the church is anti-stem-cell is when embryonic stem-cells are used because we believe that is a human life and all human life has dignity. Therefore, to destroy an embryo to save another person, is destroying life, which we don't believe in," he said.
One year from the date of her stem-cell transplant, Collins called Father Riley. The two talk on the phone frequently. Collins has sent cards and often talked about coming to Kansas City to meet him. Still, she remains "totally shocked" by their surprise meeting.
"What can you say, what words can you say to someone who saved your life?" Collins said, emotion running through her voice. "At the time I was diagnosed with leukemia, my daughter was in fifth grade and my son was a freshman in high school.
Father Riley's story has been well-documented. Several newspapers, including the Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal, picked up the story. A television station in Bowling Green, Ky., covered the Relay for Life event and provided a copy of the story to the television station in St. Joseph, where Father Riley's family could see it.
For his part, Father Riley takes no credit for being a life-saver. Making a decision like that was a no-brainer.
"If there's something I can do to help somebody else, then I want to do it," he said. "Let's not dilly-dally, if this is something I am able to do, let's do it."
Collins is obviously thankful for the decision Father Riley made and prays others will make the same decision.
"If more people would go out and register for these organ donations and stem cell drives, it's amazing the difference you can make," she said.
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This story was made available to Catholic Online by permission of The Catholic Key(www.catholickey.org), official newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo.
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