Joseph Sanford Jr. from Breaux Bridge, Louisiana was born with a sickle cell anemia. His donor, Jonie Henry, traveled more than 500 miles to finally meet him.
 
The disease can be incurable, and sometimes fatal. According to the 11-year-old’s mother, Clarissa Sanford, Joseph was constantly in pain. 
 
She said watching her son battle his illness was hard.
 
“He couldn’t understand why he was having such excruciating pain,” she said.
 
However, Joseph Jr. said he never let the pain stop him from being a regular kid. He likes to play basketball with his friends and his father.
 
“I just didn’t want to give up, “ Joseph Jr. said. “I wanted to keep going.”
 
The family searched for doctors and treatments from all over the country. Through research, the family discovered Dr. Michael Elrich to get more help on curing his son.
 
When Joseph Jr. turned 10 years old, he received a blood transplant from Henry. She flew in from Georgia to New Orleans this past weekend to meet Joseph for the very first time.
 
“I wasn’t expecting the family to greet me at terminal,” Henry said. “It was just amazing to see all the laughs and the smiles and the hugs and just gratitude they were showing me.”
 
If the opportunity comes, Henry says she wants to help more children.
 
“Just to be able to help somebody or help a child to not be in pain again, I would do it all over again,” she said.