ETX family needs you to save a life - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETX family needs you to save a life

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

An East Texas family believes you can help save a life. Family and friends are now looking for a bone marrow match for Doctor Cody Chandler of Tyler, who was diagnosed with leukemia just after Thanksgiving.

Cody Chandler has spent the last few months battling for his life. It's a battle April Brown has watched another dear friend suffer from.

"I got involved in this after a friend of mine, Leslie Harris, was diagnosed with leukemia. She has the same type as Cody..AML and she was diagnosed just hours before giving birth to her son," Brown told us.

 "I might live for five years, I might live for one hundred years. I don't know, but what I do know is she only has six months," Chandler said.

 What Leslie needs is exactly what Cody could need if he comes out of remission…a bone marrow transplant.  

 "They say about 6 out of 10 people will not find a match," Brown explained.

 Which is why it is critical to have a registry full of willing donors.

 "There's only about three percent of the population that is currently in the National Bone Marrow Registry," Brown said.

 To add more donors to the registry, Chandler's wife and April Brown hosted a bone marrow drive at Heart to Heart Hospice in Tyler.

 "If you save one person's life isn't it worth it?" asked a nurse who stopped in to register.

 The process is quick and painless.

 To join the National Bone Marrow registry all you need to do is fill out one form, do a quick swab of your mouth and the hosts will take care of the rest.

 "It was real easy. I mean, taking a Q-tip and swabbing? I mean it's a piece of cake, a walk in the park as I would call it," said Matthew Cabble, who registered at the drive.

 If you match a patient, the donating process is not too difficult either. There are two ways donate. The first option is called peripheral blood stem cell donation. This method is very similar to giving blood. The second way to donate is by having marrow cells collected from the backside of the pelvic bone. Both methods are outpatient procedures.

 According to the DKMS Bone Marrow Donor Center, you must be between the ages of 18 and 55-years-old. You must be in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds, but not exceed a body mass index (BMI) of 40, and be willing to donate to any patient in need.  After completing the registration process, you will be available as a donor for any patient you match until your 61st birthday.

 DKMS organizes national donor drives, however you can also register in person or on your own with a do-it-yourself registration kit. For more information, visit www.GetSwabbed.org.

 You can donate to the Chandler family at www.comfortforcody.com.

"Just think of it as saving somebody's life…somewhat like a hero," Cabble said.

 For Cody and Leslie, many East Texans already are.

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