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  1. ITV Report

Cardiff man meets the stranger from Germany who saved his life with a stem cell transplant

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

A man from Cardiff who needed a bone marrow transplant has finally met up with the stranger from Germany who saved his life.

Lawrence Trace, 59, was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2005 but no-one in his family was able to donate because they weren't a match.

Max Jeckeln, 21, from Germany was the only person the Welsh Blood Service were able to find on a worldwide register who could help.

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

In 2012 Max donated his cells at a centre in Germany before they were delivered safely to a laboratory at the University Hospital of Wales.

Once Lawrence was stronger his family urged him to try and make contact with his donor to at least let him know that he was alive and kicking.

The two men then built up a close friendship over letters, emails and phone.

"It's quite a unique experience, I wouldn't have expected this when I registered for donation they were telling me that the chances they will call you are pretty low...it's been a long journey but worth the experience.

– Max Jeckeln
Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

If it hadn't been for Max I almost definitely wouldn't be here today because it was clear years and years of treatment was just not working.

– Lawrence Trace

But the family were also keen to meet Max, so they arranged a flight for him to visit Wales and go sight-seeing with Lawrence.

The two men are now campaigning to get more people to sign-up to become a bone marrow donor.

Learn more about the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry.

And watch Alexandra Lodge's full report here: