Statistically speaking, they were an unlikely pair. But after Michael Menafee donated his marrow to baby Jaxson Slade, the two became bonded by more than blood and bone.
When Menafee landed at the St John’s airport on the Canadian island of Newfoundland in April, he didn’t know what to expect. The 32-year-old Chicago native had travelled almost 4,000km (2,485 miles) to spend Easter with a family he had never met.
But while he was greeted at the airport by strangers, he quickly realised he was already part of the Slade family.
“It was like we knew each other for years… that’s how comfortable I felt,” he told the BBC from his home in Guatemala, where he is working in the US Peace Corps.
Three years ago, Menafee donated some of his bone marrow to Jaxson Slade, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia when he was just 13 months old.
Although the donation procedure can …