Episode 170: Marilee Killpack on the Miracle of One Child Saving a Sibling’s Life

Marilee Killpack is a Utah native. First up in her life are God and family. Her husband and four kids are the center of her orbit. She considers herself a has-been dancer, dancing at the Juilliard school in New York City and at BYU where she graduated. Seven years ago, she co-founded an eight-figure business called Gathre that sells leather goods, yet she’d consider her biggest professional accomplishment convincing her husband to join the team

(they love working together approximately 98% of the time). Her greatest goal in life is to become half the woman her mother is.

And today I have the privilege of talking to Marilee, or Mare as I think of her, about her family’s unique journey of saving her child Abrahm’s life through his brother’s bone marrow. Mare shares all the miracles and tender mercies that she and her family experienced as they navigated this huge trial and the many lessons they learned along the way.

Today’s episode is sponsored in part by Calm. Reduce stress and anxiety through guided meditations, improve focus with curated music tracks, and rest and recharge with Calm’s imaginative sleep stories for children and adults. There’s even new daily movement sessions, designed to relax your body & uplift your mind. Go to calm.com/mintarrow and get 40% off a Calm premium subscription.

Today’s episode is also sponsored by Charity Water. Clean water changes everything. It means time, health, education, and opportunities — especially for women and kids. You can help transform the future for a family today. 100% of your donation will fund clean water projects. Go to charitywater.org/mint to learn more.


Time Stamps:

[01:02] – Marilee Killpack talks about the surprising pregnancy journey she experienced and how that ties into her son Abrahm’s diagnosis.

[03:51] – Is there something Marilee was worried about the most?

[05:42] – Marilee describes the conversation of searching for a match for Abrahm’s diagnosis.

[08:01] – What is treatment like?

[10:05] – Marilee talks about being inspired watching Abrahm’s positive and “meek” attitude during treatment.

[13:01] – What does Marilee remember from the day of the transplant?

[15:36] – This sentence left a deep impression on Marilee. Her son resembled a characteristic of Heavenly Father in this moment.

[18:12] – Marilee wants to maintain her gratitude for life.

[20:16] – Listen to Marilee recall a journal entry that snapshots her family’s miraculous experience in the middle of a hard time.

[22:02] – Marilee says that writing a journal was her way of sharing her testimony and was also therapeutic.

[24:59] – People showered Marilee with appreciation and kindness, which makes her want to give back more.

[27:26] – Listen to Marilee’s story of kindness from strangers on a flight home.

[29:32] – Marilee talks about a sudden change in health that caused an emergency decision.

[31:34] – How did the pandemic impact the health journey of Marilee’s family? She explains why her family was on lockdown before the pandemic officially started.

[34:19] – So many people felt similar struggles during the pandemic.

[36:25] – How did Marilee’s family stay grounded in Christ during these times?

[38:37] – We learn resilience through trials.

[40:59] – What does Marilee feel she learned from her kids during the family’s health journey?

[43:41] – Marilee says that doing this helps her feel joy and peace.

[45:03] – Little things, over the course of life, are what change us.


Supporting Resources:

Marilee’s Instagram @marileekillpack

Gathre on Instagram @gathre



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