“Thank you for saving my life,” A.J. told his donor, Alex Momany, during the emotional meeting.
“It was my pleasure,” Momany, 24, replied.
A.J., 8, was connected with Momany through the Be the Match Bone Marrow Registry.
Until this point, A.J.’s family and Momany had only communicated on the phone, but now they’re “looking forward to sharing life with her” A.J.’s mom, Alexa, said on “GMA.”
“It’s overwhelming,” A.J.’s father, Jeff, said while fighting back tears. “We’ve thought a lot about meeting you and getting to know you more, and we’re so excited and so thankful.”
A.J.’s battle against leukemia
A.J. was diagnosed with leukemia on his 4th birthday, Alexa told ABC News. The family asked to only be identified by their first names for privacy reasons.
“He was a really healthy boy and … all of the sudden, in the middle of the night, he woke up with leg pain,” Alexa said. “The following day the leg pain was so excruciating that we had to take him to the ER.”
Alexa added that in 2013, when they found out it was leukemia, the family was living overseas because A.J.’s father, Jeff, was serving in the military. They came back to the U.S. for treatment following the diagnosis.
“A.J. was so sick. The treatment was so intense,” Jeff told ABC News. “Alexa and I were shifting each other out at the hospital.”
A.J. eventually went into remission, his mother said. But in the summer of 2015, he relapsed.
“It came back in two locations,” Jeff said of his son’s cancer. “That’s a clear indication that the … treatment wasn’t working.”
Alexa added that this was when they knew “that a transplant was really his only option.”
“The first step was for all of us to be tested and … none of us were a match,” she added of her, her husband, and her two older children, Sophia and Nate.
The mother said she then turned to Be the Match, a national bone marrow donation organization that helps patients connect with lifesaving donors. To date, Be the Match has…