By Juli McDonald

MILTON (CBS) – A virtual Baptism and naming ceremony in Milton – celebrating faith, a healthy baby, and an angel joining from thousands of miles away.

Baby Aquinnah almost didn’t meet her grandmother. Deborah Neipris of Needham was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. She’d need multiple chemotherapies – and then a perfect match.

“Stem cell was what was going to cure my cancer. There was no other cure,” she said.

Deborah Neipris and Alison McGrath holding Aquinnah Lillia (WBZ-TV)

That’s where their angel comes in – Lilia. A German woman whose simple “Be the Match” swab, turned into a Christmas Eve donation flown across the world.

“It’s a gift she gave that absolutely cannot be repaid,” Neipris said, emotionally.

Aquinnah now shares the name Lilia – which feels truly meant to be.

“We learned that in Hebrew it means ‘what belongs to me belongs to God.’ We knew that had to be her Hebrew name,” said Neipris’ daughter, Alison McGrath.

The pandemic has changed a lot of things. But even Covid can’t stop joy, generosity, and miracles.

“You mean more to us than you’ll ever know,” Alison added, to their family’s donor-now-friend.

Alison has since been swabbed by Be the Match, hoping to pay it forward for someone else in need. She encourages everyone to learn more about the organization and be swabbed. They could be the life-saving match another family is desperately awaiting.

Juli McDonald

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