NEW YORK (WMAR) — For the first time ever, a Baltimore man got a chance to meet the 9-year-old Philadelphia boy who's life he saved by donating stem cells.
The emotional get together happened on September 17 during a ceremony at Gift of Life Marrow Registry’s One Huge Night Gala in New York City.
Gregory Mitchell, 30, a financial adviser, donated stem cells last year to Marcus Haggins, who until receiving a transplant, was battling Severe Aplastic Anemia.
It was during a 2012 donor recruitment drive at an Atlantic City cultural festival when Mitchell joined Gift of Life’s registry.
“My life became more meaningful the day I donated,” Mitchell said.
Haggins’ mother, Kim Kennedy, said that “you don't know how much this means to me to give me my son back. Thank God we didn't lose Marcus.”
Due to medical anonymity laws, donors and recipients must wait at least one year before meeting.
Since its start in 1991, Gift of Life Marrow Registry has grown to more than 347,000 individuals who have volunteered to donate blood stem cells or bone marrow to save a life. To date, Gift of Life has facilitated over 16,600 matches for those with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell, and nearly 100 other diseases, resulting in more than 3,475 transplants.