When Mike Mushaw, a senior at Central Connecticut State University, signed up for the bone marrow donor registry in 2017, he was told that he’d probably be on the list and never get a call. That was not the case and now he’s developed a special bond with a special little girl.
His special bond is with Eleanor, a little girl from Virginia. Shortly after she was born, she was diagnosed with a rare immunodeficiency.
The registry Mushaw signed up with matched the little Virginia girl and the CCSU linebacker. In 2017, as he preparing for his junior year of college, Mushaw was also preparing for the bone marrow procedure to save Eleanor’s life.
After recovering from the surgery, Mushaw and Eleanor met for the first time.
And this weekend, he celebrated Eleanor’s second birthday with her.
“Once you see the impact, everything is worth it," Mushaw said as Eleanor handed one of her balloons to him. "It's just a fun time. She's got so much energy and she's always laughing and keeping us laughing, so it's been amazing."
Mushaw said he'll be there to see every one of Eleanor's birthdays in the years to come.