FDNY unites bone marrow donors and recipients

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

There were hugs and tears Thursday as two bone marrow recipients met the firefighters who saved their lives.

Hundreds of firefighters donate bone marrow through a partnership between the FDNY and New York Blood Center.

Joseph Stike, 29, for the first time met his donor - a retired Bronx lieutenant.

And 45-year-old Jeff Faller also met his lifesaver, 29-year-old Brooklyn firefighter Robert Paolillo, who signed up for the Be the Match registry years ago. Paolillo vowed he would sign up after his aunt received a bone marrow transplant.

Faller, who became ill after being exposed to an unknown toxin and spent some time in a coma, has three children. His wife says their family owes so much to Paolillo.

More than 200 people have donated over the past 13 years.

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