Venice donor meets young bone marrow recipient whose life she saved

VENICE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Venice woman who donated her bone marrow last year has connected with the young woman who received it. The two came face-to-face for the first time on Friday in an emotional reunion.

"Everything that I get to do now, from this point, is because of her, and I'm so grateful for that," said donor recipient Corinne Bass, holding back tears.

The 19-year-old was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a bone marrow failure disorder.

"Your immune system is down and without that, you can't fight illness, so even just the typical cold that you might get could kill somebody with aplastic anemia," Bass explained.

Corinne's only hope was a bone marrow transplant, but being a minority, finding a match wasn't going to be easy.

Luckily, across the country in California, Kiana Howard had registered as a donor with Be The Match. She knew nothing about Bass but didn't hesitate to step forward.

"I just knew she was 17 at the time, she had aplastic anemia, and she needed my help," Howard said.

After a minor outpatient surgery, Howard donated her bone marrow, curing Bass' blood disorder.

"You'll never regret saving someone's life," Howard shared.

And now, thanks to Howard, Bass can live the life she had always hoped was possible.

"I get to go to college, I get to be a doctor, I get to get married, I get to have kids, I get to do everything that I want to do, and it's all because she made that selfless decision," Bass cried. "So, I'm super grateful for that, and I just hope she knows that."

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