A cancer survivor has finally met her anonymous saviour almost a decade after her transplant.
Becca Anderson, from South Shields, was diagnosed with leukaemia ten years ago.
As a student aged 18, Becca often felt ill but thought it merely was the result of stress and working too hard, but blood tests confirmed something far more serious.
The 28-year-old said: Id been poorly for a few months and I was actually on my way to a party when I got the phone call from my dad.
"Id had a blood test and the doctor rang the house phone trying to reach me but because of how serious it was, they told him to call me and get me to the hospital straight away."
At Sunderland Royal Hospital accompanied with her boyfriend and her mum, doctors informed Becca she had leukaemia.
"I just remember saying, 'Im going to die. Im going to die', she said.
"I calmed down but there were a lot of tears, it was dramatic."
Due to the high chance of relapse, Becca was told she would need a stem cell transplant if she were to be cured of her cancer.
Without a match within her family, the charity Anthony Nolan searched the stem cell register. Fortunately, a match was found soon after.
On November 2010, Becca went into hospital where she had her transplant and remained in isolation for two months.
Speaking of her journey to recovery, Becca said: "Its only really been the last two or three years that Ive fully got my confidence back. Everyones journey will be different, but recovery is hard."
Her donor was Susan Fullerton, from Glasgow, who joined the Anthony Nolan stem cell register on April 2010 after losing her mum to acute myeloid leukaemia in 2003.
Susan, 38, said: "I could remember how much blood transfusions gave my mum almost immediate colour and energy, so I decided to become a blood donor.
"At one of my donation sessions there were leaflets on the table about Anthony Nolan, so I decided to sign up."
Anthony Nolan gives people with blood cancer a second chance of life by finding them matching donors.
It also carries out ground-breaking research to save more lives and provide information to support patients after a stem cell transplant.
Lifesavers like Susan have a 1 in 800 chance of being called up to donate in the following five years. However, Susan was found to be a match just weeks after joining the register.
Both Beccas and Susans identity was kept secret from each other for two years as per the charitys procedure.
After the period passed, they were both allowed to meet each other. In September, nine years after surgery, both of them almost by chance decided to reach out to the charity within a few days of each other.
Becca, now a cabin crew member for Virgin Atlantic, was planning to do the Great North Run for Anthony Nolan and thought it would be the perfect timing for her to meet the stranger who saved her life.
Susan on the other hand wanted to share her story to encourage people to join the stem cell register due to her friends young child currently being treated for leukaemia.
When she decided to reach out she was surprised Becca wanted to do the same.
"It was no-brainer, I felt like I was missing part of my story, said Susan.
Becca said: "It was so overwhelming as it happened so quickly. Meeting my donor was a pipe dream and next thing I knew she was coming to Newcastle."
When they finally met at Central Station a day before the Great North Run, they hugged each other and burst into tears.
Speaking of their meeting, Becca said: "Meeting her was like meeting a friend. It was like a strange blind date that you just knew was going to work out."
Susan also felt a connection and said: "It never felt like I didnt know her. It just felt like I had known her my whole life, maybe it was because she had a piece of me inside her."
Becca and Susan plan to stay in touch and will meet each others families next month.
Looking back, Becca said: "Without Anthony Nolan and Susan, I genuinely wouldnt be here. I now see so many people not getting matches and I just think, 'wow, how lucky was I?'
"Looking back, I was so naive at the time. I never thought I wouldnt find a match."
Find out more about the work of Anthony Nolan at http://www.anthonynolan.org
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