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Bonded by marrow | Marrow donor meets 'new brother,' man whose life he saved

In 2019, Chris Lyons was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Chris Lyons loves wartime films and documentaries. You could even say he's a natural when it comes to battle. 

"No matter how dark it gets, you're never out of the fight," says Chris. "So I made that my motto during the treatment."

As a child, Chris overcame childhood cancer, and in 2019, after going to the doctor because he wasn't feeling well--he heard something that he didn't want to hear.

"I had just started my masters. Then starting early January into February, I started getting this terrible headache," Chris said.

He said he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia that required a bone marrow transplant.

With the help of Be the Match, Chris was able to get a bone marrow transplant.

Be A match is a nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to helping every patient get the life-saving transplant they need. It is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), the website says.

On, Tuesday Chris received the surprise of a lifetime. The man who saved his life.

Drew Kozman tells WHAS11, he made the decision to help those in need by signing up for the registry and three months later he got the call that would ultimately change Chris' life.

An opportunity that now allows both men to encourage others.

"Sign up if not as soon as you can or whenever you're comfortable," explained Kozman. 

"Because you get to have a moment like this. even if you never get to meet the person or it doesn't work out it's the incredible heartwarming feeling that I've got a new brother now, really."

Officials are looking for donors between the ages of 18 and 40. This allows recipients the best chance of survival due to the cells regenerating faster.

Click on Be A Match for more information on how the program works. click here.


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