Two years after the bone marrow procedure that saved his life, guitarist/vocalist Adam “Nergal” Darski of Polish extreme metallers BEHEMOTH finally met the donor for the first time.
Nergal had previously expressed his desire to meet the person who donated bone marrow to him, but because of strict regulations, that was not possible until today (Monday, December 17).
“Thank you for my life,” Nergal told 25-year-old Grzegorz Kajto at a gathering in Sopot in northern Poland.
Before Nergal met his donor, he watched a short film in which Grzegorz revealed that he didn’t know the identity of his recipent but was eager to help nonetheless.
The two men hugged each other and Nergal asked whether Grzegorz had any siblings, to which Kajto replied, “I do now.”
You can watch video footage of the meeting at TVN24.pl.
In a March 2011 interview with MetalSucks, Nergal stated about the response from the metal community to the news of his illness: “I never expected such massive feedback, to be honest. Not only from friends and [BEHEMOTH supporters], but people who haven’t been in touch for years. They were like, ‘Is there anything we can do to help?’ There were plenty of people applying for bone marrow tests — you have to be tested first — and these people were trying to contribute. Which was awesome. And the metal community reacted continuously and immediately; it was massive. I received, like, thousands of emails when the news got out, and the response to this news… there was not a single comment that was negative. I didn’t really expect the extreme metal community to be very sympathetic, to be this empathetic, to be this [pauses]… caring. But they were totally into it; they were all ready to stand behind me and help me out.”
He continued: “I didn’t really need money; my health insurance covered pretty much everything. But I’d get offers from people, like ‘We’ll collect money and send you cash.’ And I was like, ‘I don’t need money, guys. But what you can do is talk to other people and raise awareness of what leukemia is. Talk to them about bone marrow donations and about [getting registered to donate.]’ That’s all I needed. I can tell you this now [pauses]… that it was very early after I got sick that the foundation found a perfect donor match. But we didn’t want to reveal this to the public because of [the movement to help] was so awesome. The ball was rolling! And everyone was into it, so I was like, ‘Fuck, no! I don’t want to fucking stop this!’ It was madness to me! People went crazy doing anything to help. It was just awesome. I can tell you — not just to make people fuckin’ cry — but there were times that I’d be reading comments and emails from people, and there were tears in my eyes. It was very humanitarian. Shit, I don’t know what you call it, but it was awesome. There are lots of people who appreciate what you do musically, they fuckin’ appreciate you as a person and individual, and they have faith in you. That is awesome. [laughs] It really brought back a lot of faith in human beings after what happened. I’d been very skeptical about the whole human race; I still am. There is more that pisses me off and makes me [pauses] pessimistic about the future of the human race. But now it’s like, fuck, it’s not all lost! There are still real humans out there that feel, that are real. That’s a lesson that I’m very thankful for.”