Paul Orednick was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer last year. He met his life saver for the first time.
With a bouquet in hand, Orednick, 73, waited for someone special, a stranger who Orednick credits for saving his life. And once Destiny Stout rounded the corner at Midway Airport, Orednick said he knew it was her.
Ordenick says the 26-year-old school teacher from St. Louis has gone from a stranger to a member of his family. Destiny is Oredinick's anonymous stem cell donor. Their destiny began more than a year ago, when Ordenick was given a year to live unless he found a stem cell match.
"There's something like 55 percent do not get it, they don't get a match, there's not enough people signed up," said Orednick.
When Destiny was in college she did sign up, she says, only because the guy that was working the blood marrow drive was good looking. Five years later, Destiny received a call that she was a match.
"To know it's that difficult to find a match, when I got the phone call It was a matter of why wouldn't I do it?" Stout said.
After some tests, paperwork and a day in the hospital, Destiny's donation gave Orednick his life back. The Lemont resident is cancer free.
"What do you say other than thank you? Thank you, you saved my life," Orednick said.
"I'm so lucky to be able to do this and be selected, it's like a gift," Stout said.
Orednick and Stout are appearing together at a bone marrow drive in Lemont until 9 p.m.