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KWCH: Two years after transplant, Kansas teen meets woman who saved her life

The COVID-19 pandemic didn't stop a family from personally giving thanks to the woman who selflessly saved a life to keep them together.

Friday marked the two year anniversary of 14-year-old Julianna Cundiff receiving a lifesaving bone marrow transplant. The donor was a stranger who lives in West Virginia. The original plan was for Julianna and her family to meet the donor, 23-year-old Loeta, in Kansas City. COVID-19 concerns canceled the trip, but didn't prevent an emotional meeting via FaceTime.

Julianna suffered from aplastic anemia, an autoimmune disease in which the body fails to produce blood cells in sufficient numbers.The then 12-year-old was at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City when she got her life-saving transplant.

"It was definitely a crazy process," Julianna says. "But when I found out I had a donor, I was so excited. Scary process, but a really good process looking back on it now."

Kriwiel says the life-saving bone marrow arrived in Kansas City the same day Leota had her operation to donate it in Washington, D.C.

"We appreciate the sacrifice you made, taking time out of your life," Sarah says. "The joy that's come out of this is far greater than we could've imagined."


Read the full story via KWCH

Learn more about Blood and Marrow Transplant at Children's Mercy