Bone marrow donor, recipient meet for first time

February 5, 2011 5:23:50 AM PST
A few months ago, we introduced you to a local woman whose bone marrow donation saved the life of a teen she never met. Well that all changed Friday when they met for the first time.

It's a day Laura Klubert has been waiting for a year and a half.

"I know when I see his bright, shiny face, I'm going to burst into tears," she said.

Nile Price and his parents have been waiting too.

"I'm just anxious to give her a mother-to-mother hug," Deborah Price, Nile's mother, said.

"I'm nervous and real excited," Nile Price said.

We first introduced you to Nile Price in November. He is a bright 14-year-old from Virginia who for the first 13 years of his life battled sickle cell anemia. Then along came Klubert.

"He refers to me as Auntie Laura," Klubert said.

Klubert is a counselor for Alief ISD who six years ago joined the Bone Marrow Registry. She is Caucasian and of British descent, and Price is a whole lot younger and African American.

Though medically rare, they were a perfect match.

"There was God's hand here," Klubert said. "Nile has said, 'You're my hero,' and I'm like, 'Sweetie, you're my hero, you're my hero.'"

Ever since the transplant in 2009, Nile Price and his family say they have been dreaming of coming to Texas and meeting Klubert in person.

"We were like, yeah I don't think this is gonna happen," Deborah Price said.

In front of 220 people at the 13th Annual Roll the Dice for Life Gulf Coast Marrow Donor Program, it did -- proving in this case, bone marrow isn't the only gift.

"I want to thank you so much for blessing me and my family," Nile Price told Klubert. "I'm glad for you to be part of my family."

The Prices say Nile Price's transplant has taught them that help comes from the most unexpected places. It's their first trip to Texas, made possible from donations. They already keep in touch with Klubert by phone and email.

This weekend they plan on getting away from the crowds and getting to know each other in person.