Adriana Avilés was diagnosed with leukemia in May 2015. At just 4 years old, she faced a tough road ahead.  

She had a lot of support along the way. Her father is MLB utility player Mike Avilés. The diagnosis came when he played for the Detroit Tigers; his teammates shaved their heads in solidarity with Adriana as she went through treatment.

But in December 2015, a miracle donation helped save her life.


Mike Laureano, a college student at the time, donated bone marrow to help Adriana fight the disease.

In early 2016, it was announced she was cancer-free, thanks in large part to Laureano's donation. Her journey from diagnosis to recovery touched many people, including her father's teammates.

"It's a blessing, not only as a teammate, but as a friend," Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley said after it was announced she was cancer-free.

In 2018, Adriana got the chance to thank Laureano in person.

The teary meet-up in the heartwarming viral video is clearly emotional for both of them.

[rebelmouse-image 19470394 dam="1" original_size="1200x595" caption="All images by Inside Edition/YouTube." expand=1]All images by Inside Edition/YouTube.

The two were connected through a program called Be The Match, which Laureano learned about during a donor drive at his university.

"Adri might only be 7 years old, but her heart and mind are wise — she knows how incredible this gift of life was," Jessy, her mother, said.

Be The Match is an organization that runs America's largest bone marrow donor registry and works to match potential donors with those diagnosed with blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma.

Laureano signed up to donate because "it was the right thing to do."

"I was a healthy individual living my life," he said, "so if I could help allow someone else to do the same then I, as a human being, have an obligation to do so."

Mike Laureano posing with Adriana's parents.

Everyone needs human connection. Be The Match is a great example of transforming that idea into actionable service.

The organization allows donors the opportunity to meet their recipients in person. Understandably, not every donor will want to meet their recipient (and vice versa) — but for those who might otherwise be sitting on the fence, that promise of a real human connection can be a powerful incentive.

Not everyone can be a donor, and that's OK! There are always other ways to help, such as volunteering with the American Cancer Society. Be The Match offers some alternatives as well, which you can check out here.

No matter what, the opportunity to see a life changed firsthand is just what the doctor ordered.

Watch the full video of Adriana and Laureano meeting below:

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