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Girl Meets Life Saving Donor

August 23, 2014, 1:47 PM

Girl Meets Life Saving Donor
HOWARD, WI -

This story is from our sister station WBAY.

A Howard girl with a rare disease needed of a bone marrow transplant to save her life.

Only one person in the entire world was a perfect match.

Now, after a journey around the globe, the two are finally meeting.

A little game of soccer in a quiet Howard neighborhood sets a scene straight from Hollywood, creating a story with a such perfect ending it could only happen in a movie, unless you're the Erdmann family.

"It's so emotional, I can't even describe it. I wish I could come up with words. You just can't," mom Tania Erdmann said.

From the smiles, to changing eye colors, to little tricks no one else can do, you'd think Christian and Mira Erdmann were family.

"My wife told me that she's talking a lot, like me when I am home!" donor Christian Werth said.

And in a way, they now are.

"My part was the smallest one, but it's cool to see that she's now so happy and healthy after all that," says Christian.

Three years ago, doctors diagnosed Mira with a rare auto-immune disease affecting just one in 1.2 million people.

A bone marrow transplant was her only hope, and doctors added her to the national registry.

At about the same time, in a tiny village in northern Germany, a sick co-worker prompted Christian to become a donor.

Three months later, he got the call.

"She told me that I'm the match, and I was shocked, you know, I never expected that... that come true," Christian said.

300 miles and three train rides later, German doctors harvested Christian's stem cells and sent them off to Mira's doctors in Cincinnati.

After one transplant, several complications and a five percent chance of survival, she somehow pulled through.

Her beads of courage documented every step.

"That brought me tears. I sat at home. I called my wife. She was at work, and I told her, I said it was for a little girl," Christian said.

The registry requires anonymity for two years, so the families could exchange only letters.

"When we received letters, there was something blacked out or it was something make to where we couldn't read it, we took a flashlight behind to find some information!" recalls Christian, laughing.

Finally this week, with Mira nearly 100 percent healthy, Christian and his wife flew to the United States for a chance to meet the Erdmanns in person.

"It was almost surreal, because we had been chatting with him on Skype since December, so to see him in person; I thought I would never let him go. We cried and we hugged, and it was just really emotional," Tania said.

"I think it was the first time I saw her in the airport, because she's so cute and so little, and she was so shy to give me a hug. That was so cute," Christian said about meeting Mira for the first time Monday.

They're spending this week bonding, discovering there's no such thing as strangers.

"Mira and Christian are two peas in a pod," Tania said.

They are now two families, forever united by one man's choice to simply add his name to a list.

"He's not one in a million. He's like one in 50 million... or more... or more," Tania said.

And it's the fact a little girl, once so sick, can say two little words with such a smile on her face that brings Christian to tears.

"Thank you," Mira said, grinning from ear to ear.

WBAY

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