Amazing Reunion: Toddler Twins Meet Life-Saving Bone Marrow Donor - NBC Southern California

Amazing Reunion: Toddler Twins Meet Life-Saving Bone Marrow Donor

"All it takes is a swab to save a life and in my case I got to save two," she said.

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    Amazing Reunion: Toddler Twins Meet Life-Saving Bone Marrow Donor
    Twin toddlers in Canada needed a life-saving bone marrow donor -- and their family couldn't help. By a small miracle, they found an Orange County woman who saved their lives. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016.)

    For the first time, 3-year-old twins met the Orange County woman who saved their lives by donating bone marrow.

    Zoey and Zayne, identical twins from Canada, look like other adorable toddlers, riding around in matching pink strollers, wearing matching lace dresses.

    But something makes them entirely different from many other identical twins out in the world. They have a have a potentially deadly genetic blood disorder.

    Just two years ago, their young lives were in danger. They needed a bone marrow donor. But not just any donor - they needed to find a perfect match.

    Twins Meet Lifesaving Donor

    [LA] Twins Meet Lifesaving Donor
    Twin toddlers in Canada needed a life-saving bone marrow donor -- and their family couldn't help. By a small miracle, they found an Orange County woman who saved their lives. Kathy Vara reports for the NBC4 News at 4 on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016.
    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016)

    "It's a matter of life and death. These girls might not have been here if it wasn't for Judiel," said Brittani Luce, who works with DKMS, a nonprofit working to end blood cancer.

    After family members failed to be a match for the girls, DKMS stepped in to help search.

    Miraculously, they found Judiel Annis, a 32-year-old Orange County resident.

    The transplant not only saved the twin's lives - it was a medical first. It was the first time twins with their specific disease have been cured by a bone marrow transplant.

    After the stars aligned to allow Annis to donate bone marrow to the twins, she hadn't ever met them.

    "Oh, they are amazing. I can't wait to be able to play with them," Annis said.

    Then the moment came Wednesday when the twins, parents, and donor were all brought together.

    "The moment I saw them, and as soon as I hugged the parents, it was amazing," Annis said.

    Annis says she wants to share the twins story, not to be recognized, but to encourage people to be tested.

    "All it takes is a swab to save a life and in my case I got to save two," Annis said.

    The girls' mother could not agree more.

    "We are encouraging all people, if they can donate," Reina Espayos said. "There are so many people they can help live."

    As for Annis, she's an honorary aunt now.

    "Looks like she is now part of our family. She's going to be connected to us forever," Espayos said.

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