Weddings

Bride Who Survived Cancer Dances With The Donor Who Saved Her Life

The pair fittingly danced to “Angels Among Us” by Alabama.
10/28/2015 06:32pm ET | Updated October 29, 2015

When Greta Hokanson was 16, she was diagnosed with leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant to save her life.

Through the Be The Match bone marrow registry, she was connected with a compatible donor -- a then-anonymous man from Arkansas. Greta had the procedure and nearly two years later, she and her family got the chance to meet the man, Danny Daniels, in person.

Courtesy of Greta Hokanson
Greta and her bone marrow donor Danny Daniels.

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

Years later, when Greta was planning her wedding to now-husband Tony Hokanson, she knew she wanted Danny to be in attendance. She was thrilled when she received his RSVP.

"Instant happy tears came to my eyes," the bride told The Huffington Post. "It meant the world to me. Without Danny I might not have made it to my wedding day."

<a href="http://www.phodot.com/">Photodot Photography</a>

At the October 10 reception in Sartell, Minnesota, Greta and Danny shared an emotional dance to “Angels Among Us” by Alabama. Photographer Stacy Milburn of Phodot Photography captured the moment.

"I fought back my own tears," Stacy told HuffPost. "Throughout the reception the room was filled with friends, family, tears, smiles and a tremendous amount of joy."

<a href="http://www.phodot.com/">Photodot Photography</a>
<a href="http://www.phodot.com/">Photodot Photography</a>

"The lyrics to the song remind me of Danny and his selfless act of donating his bone marrow to me, a complete stranger," the bride said.

<a href="http://www.phodot.com/">Photodot Photography</a>

The wedding was also the groom's first opportunity to meet the man who saved his new wife's life.

"It was really an honor to meet him," Tony said. "He’s such a generous man and it was great to get a chance to talk with him and get to know him better. Without him and the Be The Match foundation, there’s a really good chance I wouldn’t have Greta as my wife today."

This story has been updated with additional commentary from the bride.

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