Lou Pell and Janie Martin visited the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Friday as part of their celebration of 10 years since Pell’s bone marrow donation saved Martin’s life.

Lou Pell and Janie Martin celebrated a milestone in their relationship last week.

Pell, a 26-year Air Force veteran who works for the Air Force as a civilian, put his name in the Department of Defense’s donor registry in 2006. In December 2008 he was matched with Martin, who was undergoing treatment for Stage IV Follicular Lymphoma and was in need of a bone marrow transplant.

They had their surgeries in July 2009. About two years later, Pell and Martin contacted each other via social media and Pell and his wife, Mary, visited Martin’s family in Texas.

Martin and her husband, Jimmy, visited the Pells last week to celebrate the 10-year milestone of the donation. The Pells, who were longtime Bellevue residents, hosted the Martins at their home in Malvern, Iowa.

The Pells showed the Martins the covered bridges in Madison County, Iowa; John Wayne’s birthplace; toured Offutt Air Force Base; ate at Korean Grill in Bellevue; visited the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium; had a bonfire at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard; and Pell gave Martin a ride on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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