SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The Make-A-Wish Foundation "grants" more than 14,000 wishes every year to children with life-threatening illnesses.
The most popular wish is to visit a theme park.
But one Sullivan's Island 11-year-old's wish was more altruistic.
When she was younger, Lucia Wiley was diagnosed with aplastic anemia – a condition in which the body stops producing enough new blood cells.
She missed two years of school because of thrice-weekly hospital visits.
When Lucia was 7 years old, her family learned that a treatment was available. Someone in Germany was a bone marrow match to Lucia.
Lucia received that bone marrow transplant, as her parents and sister waited.
"I asked the doctor, 'How long does it take the bone marrow cells to find their way into the bone?'" Lucia's father, Porter Wiley recalled. "He said, 'about 30 seconds. They just know where to go."
As Lucia recovered, the family did not know the identity of the person who donated the life-saving bone marrow.
But after a two-year waiting period expired, the family requested the donor's email address.
The donor was a young woman who lives in Dortmund, Germany.
When Lucia was entered into the Make-A-Wish program, she knew she wanted to meet her donor as her wish.
"I just thought she gave me her bone marrow. I should meet her," Lucia said.
In July, the Wiley family traveled to Germany to meet the donor. The donor planned a day together, which including shopping, mini-golf and dinner.
Lucia's mother said her normally outgoing daughter was shy and nervous upon the initial meeting, but quickly warmed as the two shared their own experiences with the donation process.
The family also gifted the donor with an album, a Sullivan's Island hat and other American mementos.
If you are interested in joining the National Bone Marrow Donor Program, visit https://bethematch.org/