Man with leukemia finally meets stranger from New Jersey who donated bone marrow

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Friday, February 21, 2020
Man with leukemia finally meets stranger who donated bone marrow
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CeFaan Kim has more on the special reunion between a bone marrow donor and recipient.

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- A man fighting leukemia finally met the stranger from New Jersey who donated bone marrow to help save his life.

The two men had the chance to meet for the first time at a bone marrow gala on Thursday night.

Bone marrow recipient Scott Novorr said he owes his life to Binyomin Gewirtz.

"I wouldn't be here, we had run out of treatment options," Novorr said. "Life expectancy for this type of leukemia is not long. It's two, three, four years at best."

Novorr and Gewirtz, who is from Lakewood, New Jersey, had never met, never spoke and lived 1,000 miles apart.

Novorr was diagnosed in 2014. By 2018 he desperately needed a bone marrow transplant.

Finding a match took months, but it felt like years.

"Literally like finding a needle in a haystack," Novorr said. "I for some reason have a rare strand in my DNA so it was extremely difficult to find someone that was enough of a match."

Gewirtz was one out of only three people in the entire world who was a close enough match.

His brother was also one of those three.

"Even though we never met, I feel connected, genetically obviously we are connected," Gewirtz said.

When the two met at the Gift of Life Marrow Registry's Celebrating Life event in Midtown, they were finally able to embrace in person.

"It's a privilege for me to be able to have the chance to save a life," Gewirtz said.

Between them, they have 10 children. But now they are a family of 14.


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