WESTLAKE VILLGE (CBSLA) — She looked cautious at first, hesitantly returning a wave at the strange man in a black hooded shirt sitting across from her as she sat with her friends – then she gasped as she recognized him as the perfect German stranger who saved her life.
Zelaya Guevara, 9, exclaimed “Oh my God!” and jumped up to hug Pierre, the 26-year-old man from Germany who donated his bone marrow to save her life.
Zelaya had been battling leukemia since she was 2 years old. But even as her prognosis looked grim, she decided to use her Make-A-Wish opportunity to help kids and families affected by Hurricane Maria in 2017.
That Make-A-Wish resulted in 1,500 toys being collected to send to Puerto Rico, which was devastated by the hurricane. The organization also teamed up with chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen to provide families with meals.
The Camarillo girl’s goodwill was returned in full by a man identified only as Pierre, who had registered through the donor registry DKMS. No one in her family or in the United States was a match with Zelaya.
“I’m very happy. I’m proud of this, what happened,” Pierre said.
Pierre will be in town through Thursday to spend time with Zelaya and her family.
For more information on DKMS, click here.