By Keith Jones

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Beach police department served as a backdrop for a bone marrow registry drive through Gift of Life.

In the middle of it all, complete strangers are now bonded by blood. David Marder unselfishly gave 18-year-old Amir Ahmic the ‘gift of life’. They met each other for the first time.

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“I’m very proud of the man you’ve become,” Marder told Ahmic.

Ahmic had a chronic granulomatous disease, or CGD, a very rare disease that affects the immune system. In its simplest form, CGD shuts down the immune system. A common cold could have been deadly for Ahmic.

Years ago, Marder didn’t have a reason but signed up for the Gift of Life registry.

“Don’t think you can really question that opportunity,” he said. “It doesn’t come that often. I think it’s the epitome of being a human being.”

Three years ago, Marder was driving through Stark County, Florida when his phone rang. He was told he was a perfect match for a bone marrow transplant with Ahmic.

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The teen received the same call.

“Even before I knew him I was just this guy, I don’t know his name, I don’t know how he looks and I don’t know where he’s from, but he’s a hero already and it puts your faith back into humanity,” said Ahmic.

During Thursday’s bone marrow registry drive, potential donors signed up, took a quick swab of their mouths, and are now on the list to save lives.

In the middle of it all, Ahmic’s mom, Selma, couldn’t stop smiling. She said thanking Marder for saving her son’s life isn’t enough and her family just got a little bigger.

“He’s like my third son,” she said. “I have another son at home and David has now become my third child.”

Ahmic was given a second chance at life. When asked what he wants to do with his life, he replied, “Oh man I still haven’t figured that out.”

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The Gift of Life signed up more than 30 potential donors. Those bone marrow donors can help save the lives of those battling blood cancers, sickle cell, and more than 70 other deadly diseases. If you want more information about being a donor, you can go to giftoflife.org.