ENCINO, Calif. - An Encino man received the "gift of life" through a bone marrow transplant last year, and is now encouraging others to become donors to save lives.
Michael Silberstein is a husband and father to a six-year-old girl named Nessah. He was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Leukemia called AML, and needed a bone marrow transplant.
"I remember the day that I got diagnosed and I just froze," he said.
Sarah Jordan who was 19-years-old at the time, was a senior at Yale University and registered as a donor through "Be The Match," and was able to donate her bone marrow to Silberstein without ever meeting him because Silberstein was unable to find a donor in his family.
Jones and Silberstein met for the first time over Facebook Live on Tuesday for Giving Tuesday.
"It became all real for me [when Silberstein saw Jordan over Facebook] because now I realize that this woman, this deep soul, she gave life to me without knowing who I was. When I saw her with my own two eyes, I realized that this woman has a piece of God in her. She has a divine soul because only God can give life and she gave life too so there's a piece of her that I didn't know how to react to so I covered my face and I froze," said Silberstein.
Silberstein is in awe of Jordan's selflessness at such a young age.
"My doctor said do you want to meet your donor, and I said,'' Are you kidding me, absolutely I want to know this soul because I learned that she was 19 years old. When I met her, I just covered my eyes because all of a sudden, this amazing soul is in this vibrant, healthy, athletic young woman," said Silberstein.
Silberstein is now on a mission to help save other lives.
"I'm hoping that what I'm doing in my life and my mission is to go save a life because then at the end of the day, I'll know my life was worth something more especially with the second lease on it," he said.
More information on how to become a donor through Be The Match can be found here:https://bethematch.org/support-the-cause/donate-bone-marrow/donation-faqs/