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Bettendorf woman competes to meet man who saved her life

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Michael Henkel and family photo from

A Bettendorf woman hopes you’ll help her win the chance to meet a man from Germany who donated bone marrow to save her life.

Lori McFate is one of five finalists in the Angel MedFlight Holiday Homecoming contest.  Contestants submitted essays explaining why their loved one should be the person brought home for the holidays by Angel MedFlight.

McFate’s essay explains how she had tremendous difficulty finding a donor for a life-saving bone marrow transplant.  Michael Henkel, of Dorsten, Germany, was eventually found to be a match for McFate via an international registry.

“Thanks to Michael’s good health, unselfishness, willingness, and compassion I am alive today and able to live a healthy life!” McFate’s essay says.  She says she now works full time and leads an active life.

“I spend every moment being GRATEFUL for this one life, knowing it was Michael that made that happen for me. I don’t have a bucket list, but I do have one wish! I want to meet him, face-to-face and THANK HIM for giving my son back his mother!” the essay continues.

McFate says she and Michael Henkel have continued to stay in touch since 2008 and that they both dream of meeting in person.

“For 7 years, my family and friends have dreamed of throwing him an AMAZING ‘THANK YOU’ party! I pray Angel MedFlight will select me and my story so Michael can come “home” to us, if even for a short amount of time,” McFate’s essay says.

Voting in the online poll is open until December 20.  To see the finalists’ essays and vote in the poll, click here.