MOORPARK (CBSLA.com) — One man saved the other man’s life seven years ago.
But they met for the first time this week.
The two men live a half a world apart. One in Moorpark, California — the other in Australia.
It’s a story that is Only On CBS2 and KCAL9.
Seven years ago, the Australian man — namely Andrew Dobbins — found out his bone marrow was a 1 in a million match for a dad — namely Michael Ohler — fighting leukemia in Moorpark.
None of Ohler’s siblings were a match.
Dobbins was coming to California this week — he and his new bride are honeymooning in Disneyland.
Ohler met Dobbins and then drove him to his place for a barbecue and a chance for both families to meet. In fact, the Ohlers invited Andrew and his bride an open invite to stay with them for the weekend.
In anticipating of meeting the man who saved his life, Ohler told CBS2 and KCAL9, “This is going to be a emotional and happy day in my life. I am blessed with a selfless human being who gave me part of his body to save my life. I will be forever grateful for him.”
When they met for the first time, cameras were rolling.
“What a life saver,” said Ohler, “What a life saver.” The men then hugged for a while.
KCAL9’s Bobby Kaple said the two men could not be more different.
Ohler is a Knights of Columbus member. Dobbins, the newly married guy.
“When they contacted me and told me about you, that you were a match, it was a very dark period of my life. Mike is the living proof that my being here, maybe there is a point to it,” Dobbins said.
“It was a huge gift from Andrew,” said Ohler’s wife Cindi Taylor, “and now he is part of our family and how lucky that we are to have met him.”
Dobbins says it’s rare for donors to ever meet, or ever want to meet for that matter.
“But we both wanted to,” he says, “And I’m glad we did.”
“If it wasn’t for Andrew I wouldn’t be here. We’re not just brothers,” said Ohler, “we are actually blood brothers.”
Some of Michael’s family said they are also now on the registry list to help out other people who might need a stem cell donation.
For more information about donation, call “Be the Match” (formerly the National Marrow Donor Program) Toll-free number: 1-800-MARROW-2 (1-800-627-7692). Or click here.