When an eighth grader from Georgia was in sixth grade he entered into an epic battle — a battle against Leukemia.
With his sickness in the past, Johnathan Hulme embarked on a class trip to New York. Along with visiting the standard tourist destinations, his family knew they had to make one, very-important stop. They made plans to visit FDNY firefighter Matt McCutchan, of Ladder 58 — the hero who donated the life-saving bone marrow for Johnathan.
McCutchan is a probationary firefighter, but his 18 months of on-the-job training will be over next month, when he’ll become a full-fledged member of the department. He’s also a former NYPD officer and medic in the FDNY EMS corps.
“I can never thank him,” Allen Hulme, Johnathan’s father, told PIX 11 News Monday. “If it wasn’t for what he did, Johnathan wouldn’t be here.”
McCutchan is as humble when talking about the selflessness bone marrow donation he made two years ago that allowed Johnathan to fully recover, according to PIX 11.
“Anybody else would’ve done what I did,” McCutchan told PIX11. “I did the easy part.”
About 50 people came with Johnathan on their school’s New York trip clapped, yelled and whistled as he hugged McCutchan in front of the visitors’ entrance of Yankee Stadium Monday morning, PIX 11 reports.
Although patient and donor chatted back and forth via social media for a little more than a year, the meeting is the first time they’ve met fact-to-face.
“It’s just something I’ve been waiting on,” Johnathan told PIX11. “I finally get to meet the person who helped me.”
Johnathan’s father said the meeting his son’s donor was wonderful.
“It’s great to meet the person that saved my sons life,” he added, his eyes welling up with tears.
Johnathan’s story underscores the need for marrow donation, the sign-up for which takes about one minute, and the test for a match takes even less time — it’s a cotton swab on the cheek, according to PIX 11.
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