An Amazon Mistake Led A Stranger To Become A Sick Toddler's Biggest Advocate

"This is the universe helping us."

When Nicole Shen received a package from Amazon last week containing goods she had requested along with keys and an employee ID that had mistakenly found their way into her order, she knew she needed to get the missing items back to their rightful owner.

"I just instantly was like, these are car keys! This is in apartment key! I've got to find this guy," Shen explained to local news station KHOU. After a little digging on social media, Shen found out that the keys and ID belonged to Amazon employee Kenneth Delerme, who accidentally placed them in the box of items bound for Shen's Richmond, Texas home, about 150 miles away from the San Marcos packaging facility where he works.

As reported by KHOU, without his keys, Delerme had his car towed and was forced to sleep at a friend's apartment, so when Shen reached out explaining she had found his lost possessions, he was understandably relieved. 


Throughout the course of their correspondence on social media, Delerme noticed people suggesting he "swab" as a way to thank Shen, and that's when he learned Shen's 3-year-old son, Roman, was diagnosed with a rare disease called Shwachman–Diamond syndrome and was in need of a bone marrow match.

According to the Shwachman–Diamond Syndrome Foundation, the genetic mutation impacts the pancreas, bone marrow, and skeleton, and in Roman's case, it means the toddler can't produce white blood cells on his own. That, in turn, means even a cold could kill him, so the Shen family has been in search of a bone marrow match for Roman, who could possibly need a transplant.

Eager to assist, Delerme agreed to get swabbed and even enlisted the help of several family members and friends as well. "All my friends and coworkers and family are helping Roman or other people that need bone marrow," he explained to the news outlet. He also posted a call out for donors on Instagram, which you can see below.

For Shen, this is proof that everything happens for a reason. "This is a God moment right here," she told KHOU. "This is the universe helping us."

It's also proof that despite the devastation that so often accompanies an illness, the community isn't powerless to help. "We all say Leukemia is awful, cancer is awful, I wish I could do something… you can!" Shen concluded. "That cure's in you and that's the medicine. That's the medicine my son needs."

And despite the pitfalls of social media, this story serves as yet another example of how it can be used to do good, and even save lives.

For information on how you can join the bone marrow registry and potentially save a life, click here.

Cover image via Jeramey Lende /


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