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Bone marrow transplant brings two strangers together

Posted September 12, 2015
Updated September 13, 2015

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— Two men that share a special bond met for the first time in Durham this weekend.

Randy Pence, who has leukemia, received a bone marrow transplant at Duke University Hospital about four year ago.

A match came from Steven Lasiter, a firefighter and former Marine from Palm Springs, Calif., who became a bone marrow donor along with his fellow firefighters.

“I had a feeling one day this would happen,” Lasiter said. “But I have to say, I don’t think I was expecting the nerves that would come with it.”

Pence, a father of three from Charleston, W.Va., said he wasn’t sure what to say when he met Lasiter, but was glad he had the opportunity to introduce himself to the man who helped save his life.

“You think of that, somebody who took time out of his life to save you and you’ve never even met,” Pence said. “It’s just an amazing thing.”

Duke has performed more than 5,000 bone marrow transplants in the last 30 years, treating leukemia, lymphoma, brain tumors, and building bonds between people that can never be broken.

“It’s amazing. I can’t wait to get to know him,” Pence said, shedding tears. “The hug, I think, really said it all.”


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