PARAMUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A very special meeting was held in New Jersey on Sunday where a man was able to meet the person who saved his life for the first time.
As TV 10/55’s Ilana Gold reported, Gary Docks has come a long way from his time in a hospital bed in 2011.
“It’s a miracle, really,” he said.
The 65-year-old spent years in and out of a Cleveland cancer center battling leukemia and desperately needed a bone marrow transplant to survive.
“I went through five years of chemo,” he said.
Eventually, there was a match in New Jersey. And on Sunday, Docks got to meet the man who saved his life: 23-year-old Jordan Davis, of Englewood.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling seeing Gary. It’s very powerful,” Davis said.
“I’m still leaking tears after the fact,” added Docks.
Both men said they wanted the public to know the benefits of donating bone marrow, and so they brought their message to the Walk for Life event at Saddle River County Park, Gold reported.
“I had a 40 percent chance of survival,” Docks said.
“I’m very happy to have helped,” Davis replied.
Hundreds of people at the Walk for Life event in Paramus are now one step closer to helping too. Attendees registered to donate bone marrow by giving a cell sample on a swab from the inside of their cheek. Now, their information goes into a national database.
“Ten-thousand people are diagnosed every year with lymphoma and only a half receive a transplant because they can’t find a donor,” said Gift of Life CEO Jay Feinberg.
Davis said he couldn’t be more grateful knowing his bone marrow was put to good use.
“I’ve always felt we had a connection before we met, but standing here is great,” he said.
“It’s quite unbelievable for sure,” Docks said.
Docks had traveled from his home in Ohio just to meet Davis in New Jersey this weekend.
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