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Meeting their match: How strangers nearly 50 years apart are now connected

Posted: 12:02 AM, Aug 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-08 08:21:48Z

There is a one in 1,000 chance Judah Berger is in the position he’s in. 

“It’s exciting. After all this time. After all this imagining in my head about who the person is, what they’re like, it’s going to be interesting to finally see who they are,” he said at the Boca Raton Marriott. 

When he was 18-years-old, he got swabbed-his DNA taken to see if he could one day be a bone marrow donor on the Gift of Life registry. 

A year and a half ago he matched and donated. The now 22-year-old, who is a headhunter in Manhattan, meets the man he’s crediting with saving at the annual Gift of Life symposium.

They met on stage in front of hundreds of college students in a ballroom to a standing ovation. 

Bernie Weiner, 70, lives in Troy Michigan. The generic lottery winner fought back against two types of bone cancer. 

Judah’s been fighting with Bernie the whole time. 

“I was so thrilled to meet my donor. That was one of my main goals,” Bernie was. 

There was one more surprise.

“Glad my genetics can also give that nice little side benefit,” Judah said with a smile. 

“I’m also a person who stutters. After my bone marrow donor and my chemo, my stutter went away,” Bernie said. 

“I’m really just happy that his life, his quality of life can be so improved and he an spend more time with his family,” Judah said. 

Judah and Bernie hope their story can inspire others to get swabbed and just maybe the unexpected can happen. 

Visit the link to learn more about donating: https://www.giftoflife.org .