September 25, 2018 – CARSON, Calif. – For the very first time, Seth Akins, 11, of Rancho Cucamonga, met his life-saving Gift of Life Marrow Registry donor Aaron Allen, 23, of Long Beach, during the L.A. Galaxy-Seattle Sounders soccer game Sunday.

Allen, a recent graduate of Washington State University at Pullman, donated his bone marrow last year to Akins, who was suffering from Severe Aplastic Anemia, at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. Allen joined the marrow registry as a Gift of Life Campus Ambassador in 2015, working to recruit other students at his school to join and potentially save a life.

Now, Allen is studying to become a molecular biologist working with genetics, while Akins is a fun-loving boy who enjoys watching basketball, soccer and building Legos. The pair – who because of anonymity laws did not know one another’s identity – were introduced during halftime of the Galaxy game.

“Being a donor has shown me that even as an individual, I can help to change the life of another person,” said Allen. “I am more grateful that I was able to have such a relatively carefree life, and it gave me a bigger drive to help improve the lives of other individuals that are struggling in theirs.”

The L.A. Galaxy Foundation and Gift of Life Marrow Registry, a club community partner based in Boca Raton, Fla., recently teamed up to host a Kick Blood Cancer event at The Americana at Brand shopping destination in Glendale, recruiting guests with a simple cheek swab to save people battling blood cancer.

Since its start in 1991, Gift of Life has grown the registry to more than 308,000 individuals who have donated blood stem cells or bone marrow to save a life. In the process, Gift of Life has facilitated over 15,000 matches, resulting in more than 3,300 transplants.

For more details about Gift of Life or the donor-recipient meeting, please contact Joe Berkofsky, Puder PR, at joe ( @ ) puderpr dot com.

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