Men meet in Boca Raton after one saved the other's life through a blood stem-cell donation

Posted at 2:56 PM, Jan 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-16 04:15:55-05

A man got to meet the person who saved his life a year ago for the very first time in Boca Raton Sunday morning.

Rich Little, 61, received a life-saving blood stem cell donation from 23-year-old Ethan Krafft when Little had just a few weeks left to live. Now, Little is in remission.

The two men were brought together for the first time at the Steps for Life 5K, held at FAU'S stadium. The 5K is held every year to raise money for the Gift of Life Marrow Registry, which is headquartered in Boca Raton.

Gift of Life Marrow registry flew Little in from his home in Oregon and Krafft from his in Washington D.C. Both men said meeting was a special experience after the life-changing donation process.

"I had the same feelings as I did when I got that phone call," Little said, "And the other time I had that feeling was when they brought his stem cells into the hospital room and we were all getting ready for them to infuse the stem cells. It was a feeling of something else is going on here. It was very powerful."

Krafft, who was called a week after he'd joined the bone marrow registry to be told he was a match, said he was thrilled to meet Little as well.

"Pretty amazing," Krafft said. "I mean, it's hard to describe, honestly, and I think it's still setting in a little bit, but it's an incredible feeling overall."

WPTV Senior Reporter Michelle Quesada was the master of ceremonies for the event and introduced the two men to each other.