3-Year-old Phoenix girl meets bone marrow donor

Posted: Updated:
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- At Sky Harbor International Airport on Thursday, 3-year-old Madalyn Weimer finally met the college student who saved her life.

Madalyn was diagnosed with cancer in April 2012 and needed a bone marrow transplant to survive.

"They wanted to at least get an eight out of 10 match, so when they told us they had found a perfect 10 out of 10 match, we were ecstatic," said Stacey Weimer, Madalyn's mom.

The match was Bailey Personette, a Purdue University student who decided to donate bone marrow despite her fear of needles. She found out around Christmastime that she was a perfect match.

"I was kind of like, wow, this is really cool. It was really exciting," she said.

Personette traveled to Washington, D.C. for the surgery, accompanied by a stuffed lamb.

"This was a little lamb that my mom decided to get before we went to Georgetown and so it kind of traveled with us throughout the whole day of like procedure and everything," she said. "After we got back from Georgetown, we put it all in a book and so it's just like pictures of the surgery."

The surgery fully took, and Madalyn's cancer was defeated.

The families had to wait a year to contact each other.

"From day one, we knew we wanted to meet her," Weimer said.

Madalyn greeted Personette Thursday with a sign that read, "Thank you for life."

Now the families are urging other people to sign up for the bone marrow registry.

"I'm terrified of needles, but it's still something that's like life-changing and amazing," Personette said.