DIGHTON (CBS) – A little boy from Dighton recently got to give a hug to the stranger who saved his life. Grant Medeiros is happy and healthy and silly and fun, but the four-year-old used to be very sick.
His mom, Lori, explains their family’s nightmare began when Grant was just two. “We got rushed to Mass General. They did their testing. They found a tumor behind his eye; he had Acute Myeloid Leukemia in his spine, behind his eye, his legs, his hips, his left upper arm,” she explained.
Grant underwent multiple rounds of chemotherapy. It came back the next year. He needed a bone marrow transplant. And Gift of Life Marrow Registry found him a perfect match.
“His name is Graeme. Graeme gave me some of his blood. His blood is mine now!” Grant said.
Last weekend in Florida, the Medeiroses wiped tears from their eyes, as Grant met his life-saver. The emotional meeting happened at Gift of Life’s Steps for Life 5k Run & Walk, held at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. The Chicago man joined the Gift of Life registry back in 2007. He wants others to know the process is simple, and so important.
“Having at the time an 8-month-old son, there was no question I wanted to do this and would hope that if someone else were in this position they’d happily do it for our family,” said donor Graeme Ossey.
Lori and Philip Medeiros know they can never repay Graeme for the priceless gift.
“We have a different outlook on life now which is amazing. I cherish every moment. He saved our child’s life, he really did. If it wasn’t for him I don’t know where we would be be. We’re forever grateful to him for that,” Lori said.
Since its start in 1991, Gift of Life Marrow Registry has grown to more than 363,000 individuals who have volunteered to donate blood stem cells or bone marrow to save a life. To date, Gift of Life has facilitated over 17,100 matches for those with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell, and nearly 100 other diseases, resulting in more than 3,555 transplants.