Gabriel Smith was diagnosed with aplastic anemia as an infant and needed a bone marrow transplant. He had the life-saving operation in 2013, when he was only 14-months-old. Now he’s seven and he was recently granted a wish by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and he chose to meet his bone marrow donor.
Gabriel’s mom, Lauren, says her son initially asked if he could take his donor to Disney World, but when told he’d have to choose between meeting his donor or going to Disney, he chose meeting his own personal hero. And that donor was Dennis Gutt, a 25-year-old carpenter from Germany, who recently flew to the U.S. for the first time to meet Gabriel and the Smith family, who live in Springfield,Illinois.
“He is a part of our family now,” Lauren says of her son’s bone marrow donor. “We are hoping this experience will inspire others to donate blood and join the Be The Match registry.”