Bride Shares A Wedding Dance With The Donor Who Saved Her Life

Photo: Courtesy of Phodot Photography.
You may want to grab a tissue for this one.

When Greta Hokanson got married earlier this month, she shared one very special dance. No, not with her father, but with the man who saved her life with a bone-marrow donation years earlier.

"I was overcome with emotion — happy emotion, of course,” Hokanson told ABC News about the dance. "[I'm] so unbelievably grateful for the gift of life he gave me. There is nothing better. He is a real-life hero — doing a completely selfless act for me, a stranger."

Back in 2006, when Hokanson was 16 years old, she was diagnosed with leukemia. She needed a bone-marrow transplant. With the help of a bone-marrow registry called Be the Match, she found a perfect match and was paired up with a compatible donor — a 44-year-old man from Arkansas named Danny Daniels.

Two years after the procedure that saved her life, Hokanson finally met Daniels in person.

"Before I met him, he was this amazing man who gave his bone marrow to me without knowing anything about me,” Hokanson told BuzzFeed. "It was incredible seeing him standing right there in front of me.”

"She said, 'Thank you. There's no way that I can ever repay you for this,'” Daniels recalled of his first meeting with Hokanson in an interview with ABC News. "My comment to her was, 'There's no repayment necessary. There are no thank yous necessary. I just want you to have as normal a life as possible.'"

Years later, Hokanson was planning her wedding day and told her fiancé that she wanted Daniels to attend.
"I knew I wanted to somehow celebrate and honor what he did for me, and when speaking with the DJ, he suggested a dance," Hokanson said. "I immediately fell in love with the idea. I then asked Danny, who replied, 'I would be honored.'"

The two shared an emotional dance to the song “Angels Among Us” by Alabama, with onlookers holding back tears.

Even the wedding photographer, from Phodot Photography, who took pictures of the dance, said she “fought back my own tears.”

The wedding was also the first time the groom, Tony Hokanson, had the chance to meet the man who saved his new wife’s life.

"It was really an honor to meet him," Tony told The Huffington Post. "Without him and the Be the Match foundation, there’s a really good chance I wouldn’t have Greta as my wife today."
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