A 20-year-old cancer survivor met the donor who saved his life for the first time on Friday’s “The View.”
Kevin Oldenburg was welcomed on to the ABC talk show to discuss how he saved a stranger’s life by becoming a bone marrow donor after registering at a county fair eight years ago. “Quite frankly, I never heard about it before,” he admitted about coming across the donor station that fateful day. Two years later, he was contacted about being a match.
“I forgot entirely that I got swabbed until that package came” notifying him, Oldenburg confessed. He was knocked out for the same-day procedure, and knew nothing about the donation recipient except that the patient was a 14-year-old boy, named Jeremiah, with leukemia. Oldenburg was allowed to contact him a year after the transplant.
He told the co-hosts, “We’ve had several emails back and forth, and it’s just amazing to put a name and face with somebody who is now your twin, because he will bleed my blood for the rest of his life. We share DNA at this point.” For his part, in a taped interview, Jeremiah explained how the first transplant he underwent was largely unsuccessful, but then Oldenburg was found to be a “perfect match” and called a “super donor.”
And after the procedure, he kept getting better and better. Now on his 20th birthday, it was his wish to meet the man who saved his life. A surprised Oldenburg was in tears when Jeremiah came out stage. Now in remission, he shared, “There’s so little words to describe it. I’ve thought about this moment for a very long time. What can you say to someone who gave you a second chance at life but thank you?”
Agreed Oldenburg, “It’s tough to put it into words, isn’t it?” Jeremiah went on to tell him, “There’s no way to really reciprocate what you’ve done for me, but since you’ve given me the gift of time, I thought I’d give you the gift of time as well.” With that, he presented a watch inscribed with the phrase “‘because of you.’”
And because he and Oldenburg are now “twins,” “The View” surprised Jeremiah with the same watch featuring the same inscription. It was also revealed the show set up a registration station for its audience members to become possible bone marrow donors right there and then. Gossip Cop will have the full video shortly, so check back soon.