Jimmy RobersonAfter being diagnosed with aplastic anemia, two unsuccessful chemotherapy treatments, 50 blood transfusions, and more than 25 platelet injections, Jimmy Roberson finally met who he says is his angel here on Earth. Her name is Alina Franke, a 27-year-old Hamburg, Germany, native who donated stem cells way back in 2009, all because she hoped to help someone in need one day. 

After the transplant, Roberson spent 49 nights in the bone marrow unit, battling 103-105 degree fevers that had UAB nurses laying him on an ice mattress to try to get his fevers down. At one point, he had double pneumonia, and they told his wife that he was critical. “But eventually, I started getting better. Then I started getting stronger, and the team that cared for me at the hospital was a big reason. Then I thought a lot about my donor and all he or she did to help me — I didn’t know who my donor was at the time. I was thinking about my wife and my grandchildren and how much I didn’t want to leave them. I felt like I had to keep fighting.”

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