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Wednesday
Sep182019

Brother surprises sister, his bone marrow donor, with the honeymoon of her dreams

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Jack Santos was just like any other 18-year-old kid who had the whole world ahead of him. He loved sports and spending time with his family, and he was planning for college.

Things came to a halt last year when he went in for a yearly checkup and his bloodwork revealed he had aplastic anemia, a rare, life-threatening blood disease that leaves those who have it feeling fatigued with uncontrollable bleeding.

Santos said, “I was getting a lot of nosebleeds but I didn’t really think I felt anything wrong.”

In order to survive, he would need a bone marrow transplant. And while finding a match can be challenging, Santos’ siblings got tested and his older sister, Shelby, was the perfect match.

“I didn’t want to see him go through something like this,” Shelby said. “It was terrifying, but we were ready for whatever brought with it at the time.”

On September 12, 2018, she became her brother’s bone marrow donor.

“Shelby saved my life,” said Santos, now 19.

Today, the two siblings are healthy and Shelby is even engaged to her fiance, Garrett.

So when Make-A-Wish offered Santos a wish to fulfill, he immediately wanted to thank his sister for her selfless act.

With Shelby and Garrett set to tie the knot in 2020, Santos asked to use his wish to give Shelby a honeymoon.

On ABC News' Good Morning America Wednesday, Santos surprised Shelby with the honeymoon of her dreams: a luxury vacation at Sandals Resorts.

"I am obviously in shock," said Shelby, who plans to wed in September 2020. "This is something that Jack has been having to go through so for him to give [his wish] up and give to me, is just, he didn’t have to do that and it’s amazing."

"He’s the youngest and he’s always been my little baby brother so I’ve always wanted to help him through life and I never thought I could do it this way," she said. "I’m so just beyond grateful that I could."

Wednesday also marked ABC's Robin Roberts’ “birthday” from her bone marrow transplant seven years ago. She received a bone marrow transplant in 2012 after undergoing 10 days of extensive chemotherapy.

Click here to learn more about Be the Match.

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