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Heartwarming moment caught on camera as Utah girl meets donor who saved her life

Posted at 6:16 PM, Jul 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-10 09:34:31-04

KSTU - It was the worst day of Jessy Aviles' life. She found out one of her twin girls, 4-year-old Adriana had been diagnosed with leukemia.

“She had very high risk leukemia. Her leukemia was chemo-resistant. We were giving her three times the amount of chemotherapy that a normal child receives,” said Aviles.

The only way to save her was a bone marrow transplant.

“It's so much for a little kid to go through, and they're sick, they're vomiting, they're weak, they're bald,” says Aviles.

Around the same time, 27-year-old Michael Laureano, who had spent eight years in the National Guard and served a tour of duty in Iraq, spontaneously decided to register with "Be the Match," when he saw a booth set up on his college campus in Delaware. A year later, he got a call.

“'You are a potential match for a three year old little girl with leukemia,'”  Lauerano said he was told.

He didn't think twice. A month later he was in surgery.

“One in about 400 individuals end up being a match for another individual, so kind of in my mindset, if I got this call it was really meant to be,” said Laureano.

“He literally saved her life. She wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him,” says Aviles.

Then this past year, Aviles found Laureano on Facebook. A few months later, he happened to be driving through Utah.

“Just the stars aligned pretty much,” said  Laureano.

The emotional 7-year-old Adriana met Laureano for the first time, and it was all caught on camera by Aviles’ neighbor, Brittney Hanvey.

“It was honestly the best day of my life to date,” said Aviles.

It was the first of many memories for these two strangers who have become family.

“I'm going to have another video shot when he's dancing with her at her wedding,” said Aviles.

Aviles and Laureano want to get the word out, anyone can potentially save a life. To sign up and see if you’re a match, click here.