Bone marrow recipient and donor meet

By Diane Walker - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Two families, 1300 miles apart, are forever connected after a Henrico teen meets the donor who gave her bone marrow to save his life.

Nile Price's dream came true in part, because of compassionate people here in Richmond who prayed and gave monetary support to get his family there for the emotional, first meeting.

Nile waited for his cue to walk out before the large Houston crowd, assembled by the Gulf Coast Marrow Donor Program. Instantly, he's smothered in long, tight hugs and sobs. Donor Laura Klubert reaches out to Deborah. Two mothers embracing one child, an emotional culmination of a year of waiting to meet.

"It means so much to me to not have to wake every morning and worry is today the day I'm going to lose my son. So, it means so much to see you face to face today, absolutely," said Deborah.

Bone marrow was taken from Laura's hip and infused through a port in Nile's chest to cure him of sickle cell anemia. The match so unique because of differences in gender, age and ethnicity. Nile is African American and his donor Caucasian of Scottish, Irish decent.

"It truly was God's hand," said Laura Klubert. "He has my DNA. He is my other son."

Nile said to Laura, "Thank you for blessing me and my family and how you impacted my life and changed it with giving me a new life."

The marrow match illustrates a desperate need for minority donors. Program organizers say, only 30 percent of the time do patients match up with a family member. Nile is the youngest of triplets. His father and sister have sickle cell. His mother is a carrier.

"I'm thanking God for her and that God does something tremendous in her life like she did in ours," said Jordan Price.

"Being a man of faith because I'm also a pastor, I know it was God," Vincent Price said.

"I'm feeling wonderful. I'm just really glad they made it to Houston and finally glad that I got to hug his neck in person," Laura said.

Laura has two sons, including a special needs child who lives in a group home. The two families hit it off like relatives who like each other. Nile calls her, 'Auntie Laura'. She calls him her son. They spent the next day at Laura's home, sharing stories.

To join the National Donor Registry to save a life, click here.

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