Army veteran meets the little girl he saved with his bone marrow donation

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

SEE: 3-Year-Old Cancer Survivor is Flower Girl in Bone Marrow Donor’s Wedding

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Army veteran Mike Laureano didn't stop saving lives when he got out of the Delaware National Guard. Thanks to a decision to sign up for Be The Match, he's the reason a seven-year-old in Utah is here today.

The twenty-nine-year-old recalls, "I was going to class, and there was a table set up for Be The Match. I walked by, and they said, 'Hey come over here,' so I walked over. They were looking for donors. I knew nothing about the organization prior.'"

After a quick cheek swab, Laureano continued on to his class at Wilmington University.

» 3-year-old cancer survivor serves as flower girl in bone marrow donor's wedding

"The expectation was one out of every four hundred individuals is actually a match. In my mind, I pretty much just thought that if I did happen to match somebody, it was meant to be."

Sure enough, in 2015, he got the call confirming it was meant to be. Laureano was a perfect match for a little girl with leukemia.

Adriana Aviles hadn't been responding to treatment. A bone marrow donation was her only hope.

When Adriana Aviles met her hero, she couldn't let him go.
When Adriana Aviles met her hero, she couldn't let him go.

Watch the video to see the emotional moment Aviles gets to thank her hero in person.             

Her mother Jessica remembers being terrified, "It's just hard because you're so scared and fearful because it's your baby."

When the Aviles family got the call, they were overwhelmed with relief and happiness and forever thankful to their hero. Jessica wanted to meet the man who saved her baby's life.

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U.S. laws require that donors and recipients have no communication before the transplant day. During the first year after transplant, it's possible to send cards and letters back and forth, as long as it is kept anonymous. After the first year post-transplant, if both donor and recipient agree, names and contact information can be shared.

Laureano said, "I woke up one morning about two years after surgery, I had a Facebook message from Adriana's mom, 'You don't know me but if this is you, I just want to share that this is the little girl you saved two years ago.' I pushed my wife and said, 'Look at this!' I always wanted to meet them."

Click here for more information on Be The Match.