Miami Beach Mayor Introduces 10-Year Old Blood Disorder Survivor to Lifesaving Donor at Gift of Life Marrow Registry Gala

Event Honored Artist Romero Britto, Police Chief Wayne Jones, Michael Larkin and Bill and Alexandra Roedy for their Distinguished Contribution to Gift of Life’s Mission and Community Service

BOCA RATON, Fla., Nov. 02, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gift of Life Marrow Registry, a Boca Raton-based blood stem cell and bone marrow registry, held its One Huge Night Miami Gala on Monday, October 30, 2023 at Queen Miami Beach in Miami Beach, Fla. The annual event served to recognize the heroic volunteer transplant donors in Gift of Life’s registry and raise much-needed funds for the organization’s efforts to cure blood cancer, sickle cell, and inherited immune disorders. 

At the event, attendees witnessed a heartwarming first-meeting between lifesaving donor, Dylan Levkoff, and her grateful transplant recipient Timothy Sviridenko, a 10-year-old boy from Washington state. The pair was introduced by Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.

Sviridenko was battling X-linked lymphoproliferative disease, a rare genetic disorder of the immune system and blood-forming cells that causes the immune system to become unable to respond to infections. The diagnosis was scary and upon learning that he would need a blood stem cell transplant to survive, his family immediately wondered if a matching donor would be found in time.

Thankfully, Levkoff, a 24-year-old fourth-grade teacher from Miami, Fla., had joined Gift of Life’s registry at a drive hosted by her sorority, Sigma Delta Tau at the University of Miami in 2019. When she was contacted by Gift of Life about being a match for Sviridenko just two and a half years later, she readily made the short trip to the organization’s Boca Raton, Fla., headquarters to donate at its renowned Adelson Collection Center.

“Donating my stem cells has given me far more of a purpose than I could have ever imagined at this point in my life,” said Levkoff.

After meeting and hugging, the two spoke of their admiration for each other and of the lifelong bond they now have.

“She is super brave and I’m super grateful that she is my donor,” said Sviridenko. “I think this will be a lifetime friendship, BFFs.”

“Timothy is the most incredible little boy and I’m honored to have met him tonight and be a part of his life forever,” said Levkoff. “To know he is now alive and healthy because of a simple donation on my end is the greatest gift I could ever ask for.”

This year’s event also recognized the unwavering commitment and outstanding advocacy of several Gift of Life supporters, including international artist Romero Britto; Miami Beach Police Chief Wayne Jones; attorney and community leader Michael Larkin; and Miami Beach mayoral candidate Bill Roedy and his wife, Alexandra Roedy.

Gala chairs for the event included Shani and Alon Alexander, Marisa Galbut and Benjamin Garrett, Robin Schwartz Jacobs and Dr. Baruch Jacobs, Carla Probus and Jonas Meyers, Liza and Roy Samuel.

The gala was emceed by WPLG-TV Local 10 Anchor/Reporter Louis Aguirre.

About Gift of Life Marrow Registry
Gift of Life Marrow Registry is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla. Established in 1991, the organization is dedicated to saving lives by facilitating blood stem cell and bone marrow transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood-related diseases. The registry houses its state-of-the-art stem cell collection center, biobank, and cellular therapy laboratory. To learn more about the Gift of Life Marrow Registry, visit

Media contact: Edwige Buteau
Phone: (917) 655-3843; Email:

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Gift of Life Marrow Registry