Local Boy Helps in the Fight Against Cancer

Stem cell transplants are often used to help fight different blood cancers and one local boy is helping register new donors.

It's the annual Chubbuck Days. This year, Sam Rhodehouse decided to help fight cancer during the festivities.

Sam says, "We are doing a stem cell transplant drive."

Sam teamed up with Be the Match to do his Eagle Scout Project.

The need for stem cell transplants hits close to home for Sam and his family.

Sam's dad Stacy Rhodehouse says, "I was diagnosed with leukemia back in 2017 and I had to go through a stem cell transplant. So, I'm here to just pay it forward."

The whole Rhodehouse family is paying it forward but the Eagle Project does have an end goal.

Sam says, "To get a goal of 30 people to come down. If more, amazing, but right now is the goal of 30."

That is a goal of registering 30 people to become potential stem cell donors. Not everyone who registers will become a donor. If a person who is registered matches with someone in need of a donation, then he or she will have the opportunity to donate.

Sam and his family helped those who registered take tissue samples of their mouth with swabs. Those swabs will be used to determine if the registered person matches anyone who needs a transplant.

For the Rhodehouse family, they were lucky to find a donor nearby when they needed one.

Stacy says, "I was actually given a stem cell transplant through my brother. He was my donor."

Stacy was lucky to find a donor but for nearly 18,000 people each year who need a stem cell transplant, it's not always so easy.

That's why Sam is out registering donors.

If you didn't have time to stop by Sam's booth Saturday afternoon, you can still register to become a stem cell donor. Text ForMyDad to 61474. From there, you will receive the information you need to register and a swab kit will be sent to your home.

If you aren't sure you would like to register but want to learn more about Be the Match and the two different ways stem cells can be donated visit: https://bethematch.org/about-us/

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