8-year-old boy meets bone marrow donor who saved his life

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An 8-year-old boy got to meet a German man who saved his life by donating bone marrow Sunday night.

Grant Berg, 8, is wearing a special T-shirt and a button to mark an important occasion Sunday night.

He met his bone marrow donor for the first time, 22-year-old Marvin Zumkley, who flew in from Germany to get to know the boy whose life he saved.

"I've imagined it so often in my mind and now it is reality. It was crazy, it was overwhelming and it was just a good feeling," Zumkley said.

Grant was born with less than half of his cerebellum, which affects his motor skills. When he was 3 years old, doctors diagnosed him with aplastic anemia, a condition that would later require a bone marrow transplant.

Through a worldwide search, the Berg family found a match in Europe. Grant had the successful surgery done three years ago.

"He wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him, and it's really the truth," Grant's mother, Kristi Berg, said.

The Bergs wanted to meet Grant's donor earlier, but Germany has a two-year waiting period before a recipient can initiate contact. Finally, his parents were able to arrange a trip to California for their hero.

Kristi said that she hopes her son will have a lifelong friend in Zumkley. For the German college student, he knows signing up to be a donor proved to be more rewarding than he ever imagined.

Related Topics:
societybone marroworgan donationsdonationscommunitygermanyLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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