When Vivian Nolan, a resident of Sidney, was told that her only hope for survival was to have a bone marrow transplant, she had no idea that the man who would end up giving her the gift of life through the donation of his bone marrow would be a complete stranger who lives nearly a thousand miles away.

Scott Durbin, a young husband, and father from Kentucky joined the National Marrow Donor Program and just seven months later, received a call notifying him that he was a perfect match for Nolan, Durbin was asked if he wanted to go forward with the donation and he didn't hesitate. Nolan is alive today because of him.

Traci Taylor

Not only is Nolan alive and thriving, but this weekend, she'll be walking down the aisle surrounded by family, friends, and Durbin, who has been welcomed into Nolan's family with open arms.

On Thursday, Nolan and Durbin met for the first time face-to-face at the Greater Binghamton Airport. Durbin was greeted with hugs and tears by Nolan, her fiance, and by family, many of whom traveled from around the country to meet Durbin and to attend this weekend's wedding.

Traci Taylor

Nolan was overwhelmed by the meeting and said that Durbin is the reason for her future, that his selfless gift gave her life again and that she is thankful for each new day and doesn't take life for granted. Nolan and Durbin share something extraordinary. They were unrelated strangers and now they share the same DNA. They really and truly are and will be a part of each other for the rest of their lives.

Not all of those who need a bone marrow transplant are as lucky as Nolan. According to Be the Match:

Every three minutes, one person is diagnosed with a blood cancer. Every 10 minutes, someone dies from a blood cancer. That’s more than six people each hour, or 148 people each day.“

The need for bone marrow donors is dire and joining the National Bone Marrow Registry is as easy as visiting BeTheMatch.org, requesting a free swab kit, doing a simple cheek swab, and sending the kit back.

Educate yourself. Request a swab kit. Do your part to help save a life.

[via Be The Match]