Have you ever felt like someone has been put into your life for a special reason? That's exactly how El Pasoan Kammy Villalobos feels about Chuy Gallegos, a man who saved her life without ever meeting her. Just 2 years ago something as simple as having morning coffee with co-workers wasn't possible for Kammy. "2014 was pretty tough," she told us.
That year, Kammy learned that the follicular lymphoma she beat in 2000 was back. Expect this time it had evolved into a faster growing cancer. For months she drove back and forth from El Paso to MD Anderson in Houston.
Kammy's co-workers from Jordan Foster took care of her family at home in El Paso, and even took turns visiting her in Houston. Kammy eventually volunteered for a clinical trial and chemo-therapy from Great Britain that put her in remission. But she needed to stay in remission to receive a bone marrow transplant. Time was ticking.
"She had tried so hard to find a donor. She had struck out with her own family. There was no matches. So there was a point there when it got a little dark," said Kammy's boss John Goodrich.
But then, a light at the end of the tunnel.
"It was a 10/10 match. A perfect match. He just popped out of nowhere. I think its just a gift from god," Kammy said. Chuy Gallegos was at the mall with his wife Dodie when they saw a booth for Be the Match, a national registry that helps people find the perfect bone marrow transplant donor.
"I was trying to get a hold of him as soon as I had my transplant but there are some rules to the program so we had to wait about a year," said Kammy. A few days later--the wait is finally over. Kammy, her sister and her husband wait anxiously to pick up Chuy and Dodie, who have flown in from Sacramento, California. The moment Kammy has dreamed of so many times becomes reality.
"It was a real emotional moment," said Chuy. The couples are off to Southwest University Stadium for a night of baseball, Chuy and Dodie's favorite sport. With a little love from Chico, Chuy throws out the first pitch. This is a bond that's just beginning, but will last long after the 9th inning.
If you would like more information on how to become a donor visit https://bethematch.org/