Bone marrow transplant recipients meet their donors in emotional reunion

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For the first time, thousands of City of Hope bone marrow transplant recipients are getting to meet their donors, including legendary TV producer Steven Bochco. (KABC)

For the first time, thousands of City of Hope bone marrow transplant recipients are getting to meet their donors, including legendary TV producer Steven Bochco.

Dominick Folbrecht, 15, and the 72-year-old writer and producer have something in common - both fought leukemia and survived thanks to bone marrow donors they'd never met.

"I spent a year and a half asking myself, 'Who is this young man?'" Bochco said.

The man behind hit shows like "Hill Street Blues" and "NYPD Blues" finally met 25-year-old Jon Kayne, who became a donor at 23.

After losing his grandfather to cancer as a young boy, Kayne said he didn't think about it twice.

"Extending the amount of time that he can share with his family was, obviously, one of the big drivers behind why I did this," Kayne said.

It was a moving moment for Vanessa Brobbery from Ontario, Canada, who said she didn't plan on becoming a donor.

"I was actually curious to see what my blood type was," she said. "I just kind of forgot about it. It slipped my mind that I even registered until I got the email saying that a patient needed my stem cells."

That patient was Dominick. He was fighting cancer for the second time, and he didn't have a family while at City of Hope.

Jeanelle Folbrecht, a psychologist at the hospital, said she was asked to see him.

"He didn't really need a psychologist, he needed a mom," she said.

She and her family decided to adopt him, and because he didn't have relatives who could get tested, they hoped to find a match.

"God called me out of the blue to donate, it wasn't even anything planned," Brobbery cried.

Together, they all hope to encourage others to become donors.

For information on becoming a donor, visit BeTheMatch.org.
Related Topics:
societyhealthbone marrowtransplantcelebrityfeel goodDuarteLos Angeles County
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