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12/24/13 - NBC 6 South Florida - Cuban Woman Flies to Miami To Donate Bone Marrow to Sister 

A Cuban woman arrived at Miami International Airport Monday, determined to
save her sister's life.

Damay Ortega, a 43-year-old northwest Miami mother and wife, has been
battling an aggressive form of leukemia since July. Dozens of chemotherapy
sessions later, her body is exhausted.

Her sister Alina Ortega wants to help her with a bone marrow transplant -
and after a visa battle, she landed at MIA Monday.

In the foreign arrivals section of the airport there was a happiness so
deep it caused tears. In a tight embrace, and through kisses, the two
sisters expressed relief, and an overwhelming sense of hope.

"I want to thank God for bringing me to this country so I can help my
little sister who's sick," Alina Ortega said in Spanish.

Their reunion was six years in the making, and bittersweet.

What's bringing them together is Damay Ortega's only hope at a second
chance.

"After six years of not seeing her, I get to see her for a bone marrow
transplant," she said in Spanish.

"I was kind of worried, actually, I was really worried," said her son,
Caleb Canobas.

The 11-year-old and his entire family were very worried because up until
Monday, Alina Ortega, who's a match and a willing donor, had been in Cuba.
In early December her U.S. visa application was denied, despite the fact
that she had submitted a letter from her sister's oncologist at the
University of Miami's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, explaining how
she would serve as a donor.

"They rejected her because they say she doesn't have income here, and
doesn't have sufficient proof of the purpose for the visit," Damay Ortega
explained back in December.

Our news cameras were there on that fateful Havana day when the decision
was reversed. Days after our sister station Telemundo 51 inquired and
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's office got involved, the U.S. Interests
Section in Havana granted Alina Ortega a non-immigrant visa.

"She's going to get better," Alina Ortega said with her armed wrapped
around Damay.

The grateful sisters look ahead to a procedure that will give Damay Ortega
a fighting chance to see her child grow up.

"I'm not worried anymore," Canobas said.


Original Source / Fuente Original:
http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Cuban-Woman-Flies-to-Miami-To-Donate-Bone-Marrow-to-Sister-237113411.html


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