Cancer patient from New York meets stem cell donor who saved his life

BOCA RATON, Florida (WABC) -- A cancer patient from New York got the chance to thank the man who gave him a second chance at life, travelling to Florida to meet his stem cell donor.

And when you see Julio Rivera and Ryan Corning together, you'd think they've been best friends for life.

But they're actually seeing each other for the first time.

"I was diagnosed with AML leukemia in 2015 in November, the saddest day of my life," Rivera said.

Through the Gift of Life Marrow Registry, Rivera found relief to his condition in the form of Corning.

He thought to join the registry six years ago after a high school presentation.

"I never thought I was going to get called," he said. "I thought I'd be another number in the representation. I ended up getting called two and a half years ago."

Now, they stand together, side by side, with twice as much hope for the future.

The came together in Boca Raton as special guests in a 5K from what Corning calls a simple deed.

"The little things you have to do, like a blood transfusion, is like nothing compared to all the rewards a recipient can have," he said.

And the recipient couldn't be more grateful for his new longtime best friend.

"He saved my life," Rivera said. "He saved my life."

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