Long Island girl wants to meet donor who saved her life

MASTIC BEACH, N.Y. -- A little girl on Long Island is alive thanks to a stranger in Minnesota and now she wants to thank him in person for donating his bone marrow that saved her life.

And with a little help, her second wish may come true this summer.

10-year-old Nora Getchell has never met Kevin Cowley but she carries him very close to her heart.

It's no surprise why.

"Because he saved my life," Nora Getchell said.

Nora was diagnosed several years ago with aplastic anemia.

It's a disorder in which the body doesn't make enough new blood cells.

Eyewitness News actually interviewed her when she was 7 at a local Ronald McDonald House function.

She went through months of chemotherapy, but it wasn't enough.

"We did her first bone marrow transplant with a donor from Norway and it didn't work, and then he donated again, he donated his stem cells, and that didn't work," said Maureen Getchell, Nora's mother.

But then Cowley, a total stranger, father of two who works at a power plant in faraway Minnesota stepped forward.

He donated his bone marrow and it worked.

Eyewitness News spoke to him in Minnesota via Skype.

"It's just amazing to know that I've actually been able to be so crucial in somebody's life," Cowley said.

Nora's second wish now is to meet her hero.

"I would like to show him the beach and where we live and some stuff that we really like to do," Nora said.

Eyewitness News had them talk for the first time face to face over Skype.

"Hey Nora, how's it going?" Cowley said.

"Good!" Nora said.

But nothing can replace meeting in person so Nora's mother has set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money to fly Cowley here this summer and put him up on Long Island for a few days.

"We're going to have a big party and hopefully she'll be able to go to the airport and meet him. That would be so great," Maureen Getchell said.

"To actually be there to meet her and give her a big hug for the first time would just be fantastic," Cowley said.

To support Nora's fundraising campaign to meet her bone marrow donor visit www.gofundme.com/friendsofnora

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