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Emotional meeting of bone marrow transplant donor and recipient evokes tears, gratitude

Posted at 6:29 PM, Apr 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-12 19:37:24-04

An 11-year-old girl is leading a full life now after receiving a life-saving bone marrow transplant from a stranger.

And today, she finally got to meet her donor.

11-year-old Laynie Houser has a lot to be thankful for.

Diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia in 2015 at the age of 7, she was in need of a bone marrow transplant to save her life.

Her prayers were answered when Alyssa Kohls, a surgical nurse from Wisconsin, was a match.

Kohls, without knowing Laynie, donated her marrow in 2017.

Two years later, Layne is now 11 and a healthy six-grader.

Today, the two met for the first time at the Corpus Christi International Airport.

It was an emotional meeting as the two embraced each other with a hug and plenty of tears.

Family and friends watched as Laynie thanked Kohls for saving her life with some tearful words.

The bone marrow transplant saved Laynie’s life.

Now, she is a completely healthy sixth grader who loves band, art and sleepovers with friends.

For all accounts, she is a normal little girl thankful to have another lease on life.

A shocking number to think about is that every year, 14,000 blood cancer and blood disease patients like Laynie are in need of a stem cell or bone marrow transplant.

In order to receive a transplant, a patient’s inherited genetic markers have to match those of the donor.

And, depending on a patient’s ethnicity, the chance of finding a match can range from 20 to 80 percent.