Iowa man survives 2 rare disorders, transplants

Posted at 10:35 AM, Mar 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-04 11:45:38-05

Roger Greiner of Glenwood, Iowa, is recovering from a second transplant in 12 years.

Greiner loves his family, which is why he was devastated by a rare diagnosis in 2003. A blot clot revealed a rare blood disorder that was destroying his liver. In 2003, doctors performed a liver transplant on him. It was successful. It was Roger's second chance.

"For that 12 years, between then and now, I just blew it off," he said. "You feel like you're so healthy, there's anything you can possibly do."

Life went on. Family lived life to the fullest. They celebrated vacations, graduations, grandkids. Next up, their daughter's engagement. Then last year,doctors made another devastating diagnosis. Myelofibrosis, serious bone marrow disorder. He'd need another transplant.

"I would say it is very rare, both of those procedures are quite intense," said Dr. Krishna Gundabolu at Nebraska Medicine.

"It just seem like it hit harder than it did with his liver," wife Mary said.

Though it was painful, and tough, Roger's family was extremely thankful. For medicine, now in the form of a bone marrow transplant, that would save his life.

"You're giving someone like me another chance," he said.  "It's hard to explain. To me, it means a new life."

From there, recovery was quick.

"I felt fine. I was eating Godfathers Pizza that night," he said.

KMTV spoke with Roger and Mary Greiner just a couple of weeks after the transplant. Some things are slow going. Their daughter is waiting for Roger's strength to get back up before setting a wedding date. She wants dad to walk her down the aisle. More than anything, this family is happy for another chance, no matter how rare the situation.

"It will be ok, you can make it through." he said.