SPOKANE, Wash. - A Florida mom and cancer survivor received a heartwarming surprise this last weekend from the parents of a fallen Spokane Marine whose selflessness saved her life.
Marine Sergeant Jacob Hess, who was killed in Afghanistan on New Year's Day, was a North Central High School graduate and frequent blood and platelet donor.
Crystal Osha of Orlando, Florida had stage four leukemia and was given just a 10-percent chance of survival until receiving Sergeant Hess' bone marrow in 2012.
She's now cancer free and, on Saturday, in a surprise meeting she met Kiersten and Michael Lyons, Jacob's parents, for the first time.
"Jacob has changed my life. To go from 10-percent chance of survival to someone else's bone marrow growing inside of you. A young man, a very strong, young man fighting inside of me," Osha said.
Meeting their son's living legacy was just as emotional for Kiersten and Michael.
"That act gave life to their family, and now, their family is restoring hope to ours and it's so healing," Kiersten Lyons said.
"To know that Jake was the one for this beautiful woman and that she's raising a family of her own has just, it really has given a great deal of hope," Michael added.
Crystal says Jake will always be a part of her, and she's going back to school next month to pursue a nursing degree.
- Spokane family knows first hand high demand for behavioral health services
- North Monroe project to move forward despite lingering concerns
- Bloomsday looking for more volunteers
- Historic Ridpath hotel to be turned into affordable housing
- Problematic drug house in Spokane boarded up
- Local school district tackles '13 Reasons Why'