Marrow donors meet recipients in Longview

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - It was a meeting of four families, now linked in life. Organized by the non-profit group Because I Care, for two Longview women, Melinda Beatty and Diana Brewer, this weekend is one they'll never forget. Both bone were marrow donors and both got to meet the children who are alive today because of their donation.

Seven-year-old Hailey Franco of Katy, Texas, suffers from severe combined immune deficiency, and is alive because of Brewers donation two years ago.

"On days if you ever wonder if you make a difference, you definitely know and have somebody saying that I actually made a difference in her life," said Brewer.

"Every moment that we have is another moment that we're like so thankful to Diana and everything that she's done," said Hailey's mother, Kelley Franco.

A very mature seven-year-old, Hailey, who has had four bone marrow transplants, knows what she's thankful for.

"My mommy and daddy, and my donor, my brother and my little cute sister," she said.

17-year-old Halston Hunt of Bridgeport had leukemia and met his donor for the first time.

"It's like I get to meet the lady that gave me a second chance at life. People that don't even know people are touching other people's lives and it's just completely amazing for kids like me," said Halston.

"Today, probably brings it full circle because it puts that face and that human being right in front of me," said Halston's donor, Melinda Beatty.

Their lives and their blood, will now make them family. Beatty and Brewer were both tissue-typed through bone marrow drives in Longview.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.