After trying chemotherapy to fight acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive blood cancer, Donnie Lewis, a 56-year-old husband and father of two from Canton, Mass., learned that his best chance to return to health would be through a stem cell transplant. Because Donnie didn’t have any siblings who were a match for this procedure, his care team had to search national registries for a lifesaving donor match.
They found one person who was a perfect match: Daniel Alcantor, a 21-year-old Midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Alcantor donated the stem cells that saved Lewis’s life.
Lewis and Alcantor, strangers before the lifesaving procedure, met in person for the first time and threw out the ceremonial first pitch together at the Boston Red Sox/Cleveland Indians game on August 18.