COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - In the same phase of life, walking parallel, but very different paths – Lianne McCarthy and Miles Moody never should've known each other.
But, the universe had different plans. In the spring of 2016, a representative from "Be The Match," a national bone marrow registry – came to speak at Moody's club baseball practice at USC.
A simple swab of the cheek, and a one in 70,000 chance that one day, the USC senior could get a phone call.
"It was maybe two months later I got a call from them that I could possibly be a match," Moody said. "And I was mind blown really that I could actually do it."
A blood test confirmed it. Miles was a perfect match for someone hundreds of miles away.
"It was on July 20 when I went in to go donate," Moody said. "And that was the easiest moment that I would never regret doing in my life. I would do that a thousand times over again if I had the chance.
Miles described the process to WIS. It involves a series of injections of "filgrastim," which stimulates the growth of stem cells. He spent hours hooked up to a machine that filtered his blood, taking only his stem cells before giving him back his blood in the other arm.
"And that's it - that's it! You sign a little piece of paper with some information and that's it," Moody said.
The giving part: that's simple. The complicated part: when circumstance forces two paths to converge.
"You help somebody and then if they want to talk to you then that's awesome. But I also knew there was a possibility that this person would never wanna talk or wanna know or anything," Moody said.
But, his recipient did. If the recipient is open to it, Be The Match acts as the middle man for recipient and donor to send anonymous letters for the first year.
"We were just kinda sending letters back and forth to each other," Moody said. "She was seeing how I was doing she was seeing how I was doing. We were just kinda getting talking a little bit and getting the basics of each other."
But then, the year mark - July 20, 2017, rolled around. Miles learned the name of a girl his age, who had a 25 percent chance of survival before he stumbled into her lane.
"She is the nicest person in the entire world," Moody said of his recipient, Lianne McCarthy. "She is the most deserving person in the entire world. She's just amazing. She really is.
And while Miles and Lianne haven't met in person yet.
"I've thought about that and I still don't know how I'm gonna react when that time actually comes. I don't know what that feeling is gonna feel like," Moody said. "I don't know how it's all gonna seem… I don't really know how she's gonna react. There's a lot of question marks there but I'm sure it's gonna be an amazing time and I'm sure we'll both be super happy."
If you'd like to see if you are a potential match for someone, go to wistv.com/bethematch to get your free registry kit.