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Pennsylvania Man Meets Stranger Who Donated His Liver And Changed His Life

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Martin Yucha has so much to be thankful for.

Yucha is a cancer survivor from Warren County who desperately needed a liver transplant. Anthony Cernera is a semi-pro skydiver and philanthropist from Connecticut who gives himself to complete strangers, a mission that started in 2016.

"Things happen so quickly and Anthony is just a Godsend," said Yucha.

"I'm someone who wants to make the world a better place and be of service to others. If I can do this thing that would be a minor inconvenience for me, then why am I not looking into donating myself? And three months later, I was donating my kidney to a stranger in Long Island. That was the first donation," Cernera said.

Then he donated bone marrow and now, part of his liver to Yucha over the holidays.

Yucha and Cernera met outside UPMC Montefiore for the first time.

"It brought tears to my eyes," said Yucha. "It's just amazing. Someone to give up their liver for me."

"It's such an interesting experience to care about someone's well-being and not have met them," Cernera said. "He's doing well and looks great. It's a privilege."

It all happened in a city that specializes in living donor transplants.

"I'm grateful for him, grateful for the team at UPMC to be able to be a part of this. It's a real gift," said Cernera.

"I get to see my grandkids again," Yucha said.

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