A new York City firefighter saved 66-year-old John Ciempa, a retired Lakeland resident.
But it wasn't from a burning building or a bad car accident, but rather from a donation.
Ciempa, a married father of grown twins, was given just six months to live. Shortly after moving to Lakeland in 2010, he was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare medical condition that often leads to leukemia.
Ciempa's body initially rejected the stem cells from Howard, 31, but after several weeks, the doctors told Ciempa that he was going to live.
Now, the two will meet for the first time Wednesday during a ceremony at the FDNY headquarters.
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