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"We always carry you with us": Concert violinist meets stem cell donor after she found tumor post-pregnancy

New Mexico mother meets stem cell donor after rare match
New Mexico mother meets stem cell donor after rare match 01:24

A New Mexico mother is reminding us of how a complete stranger can suddenly mean the world to you.

After concert violinist Christine Chen gave birth in 2018, a nurse discovered a tumor that had been masked by her pregnancy.

"So, about 12 hours after my daughter was born, we found ourselves seeing an oncologist," Chen told CBS News.

But her chemotherapy led to something extremely rare: leukemia. Chen would need a stem cell transplant to survive, and a match within her own race would be ideal.

But only 9% of donors on Be the Match, the nation's largest registry, are Asian.

Luckily, she was able to find her perfect match through City of Hope hospital, in California, in a man named Andrew Qin. They recently met for the first time since the procedure.

"I just hope that you know we always carry you with us," Chen told Qin.

Qin said that after seeing Chen, "It really hits home. It's like, wow, one person, the family, mother of two."

Correction: This story has been updated to note that Chen is from New Mexico, not California.

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