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A very special Super Bowl: Saints rookie who donated bone marrow meets recipient in Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS --  Saints rookie wide receiver Austin Carr was still playing college ball at Northwestern in 2015 when he learned that his decision to be a bone marrow donor was going to help save someone's life.

It was an easy decision for Carr to be a donor, because that's "just a swab of your cheek," he says. But when the call of duty came, it was a little more complicated. Carr was at the end of his junior year at Northwestern.

"(Being a match) meant I would have to sit out of a couple weeks of spring ball and a couple weeks of workouts," he recalled on the Saints website. "I had to speak with my coach and with my family and count the cost of missing that because who knows what can happen with the depth chart in that time. After some thought, I knew it was the right thing to do."

At Sunday's Super Bowl in Minneapolis, Carr got to meet the man whose life was saved because of his selfless act. That man is 59-year-old Roy Coe from Kansas City, Missouri.

According to WGNO's sister station WDAF, Coe is a retired railroader who's gone two years with no visible signs of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a disease he has fought for more than five years.

The National Marrow Donor Program doesn't let recipients and donors meet for two years after each transplant.

Little did Coe know, his donor was a rookie NFL player.

Carr and Coe finally met last Wednesday in Minnesota. The Be the Match organization coordinated the trip and the meeting between Carr and Coe.

Photos show the two connected in a way that old friends do.

Photo courtesy WDAF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"You get emotional, especially right before hand," Carr said. "I was just excited to finally put a face and a name to somebody I knew had been so affected by me. Not even who I am but just what I was able to do for him by giving him more time on this earth. Obviously, during the meeting was amazing as well. "

As for Coe, he's thankful he got to meet Carr, and especially grateful that he "got a chance to irritate" his grandchildren for "a little while longer."