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Michelle Obama has emotional meeting with cancer patient whose letter inspired her new book

The former first lady got to meet the voice behind one of the thousands of letters she receives in response to her memoir, "Becoming."
/ Source: TODAY

Michelle Obama receives more than 2,000 letters a month from readers responding to her 2018 memoir, "Becoming."

Obama says these letters inspired her new book, "The Light We Carry," and the former first lady was able to meet one of the people behind the words on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna.

In a video, Irene Dimatulac read from the letter she wrote Obama while she was battling osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, in her left leg.

Michelle Obama and Irene Dimatulac on TODAY.
Michelle Obama and Irene Dimatulac on TODAY.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

"My cancer journey so far has been harrowing, with so much pain, fear of the world outside and with the pressures to be strong in this hard time," she wrote.

"All of these details to say, your book has been a boon on what could be a lonely journey," Dimatulac continued. "On days where chemotherapy made it hard to even focus on watching TV, I could get lost in listening to you narrate your book."

Dimatulac, 25, shared in the letter she had professional portraits taken to "challenge the negative voices in my head and to embrace my journey." She sent the photos to Obama to share how proud she was of them.

"And I hope that you are proud of me too," she wrote. "You, Mrs. Obama, have been as much a supporter of me on my cancer journey as anyone in my life. Thank you, and I hope this email brings you some joy, as you have touched another young life deeply."

After the video wrapped, Dimatulac was introduced onstage and met the author who helped her through her cancer journey.

"I got to walk over to you," Dimatulac said to Obama.

"You did! You did that," Obama said, adding the letters she receives from readers like Dimatulac makes her feel like it's all worth it.

"Well, you know, it makes it all worthwhile, and that's the power of 'The Light We Carry,'" Obama said. "You know, if you can see it in yourself, you can spread it to somebody else and you will never know whose life it will change and whose life you're changing in the process of sharing your story."

"So you're pretty awesome," she told Dimatulac.

"I'm going to put that on my LinkedIn," Dimatulac responded with a smile.

The 25-year-old jumped up when she saw some of her medical team from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the audience.
The 25-year-old jumped up when she saw some of her medical team from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the audience.Helen Healey / TODAY

TODAY co-anchor Hoda Kotb then revealed not only was Dimatulac meeting Obama, she was also getting a reunion with some of her medical team from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Five of her doctors and nurses then jumped up from their seats in the audience, leading Dimatulac to say her contact lenses were fogging up.

"My contacts are foggy and I'm not even wearing contacts," TODAY's Jenna Bush Hager agreed.