CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) - A rare blood cancer is threatening the life of a 15-year-old boyfrom Cheektowaga. A bone marrow transplant is the only chance forMatthew Stroud. The youngest member of his immediate family isstepping up to help her big brother.
People pack the Knights of Columbus Hall in Cheektowaga for afundraiser that will help cover Matthew Stroud's medical bills.
Jodi Stroud, Matthew's mom, said, "This past January, Matt wasdiagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)."
This type of leukemia is rare in children.
"Typically, only ten percent of CML patients find a donor,worldwide," explained Jodi.
But as luck would have it, two of Matt's sisters turned out tobe potential donors. The perfect bone marrow match, the smallestperson in the building, Matt's 6-year-old sister Jenna.
Jodi said, "She's very proud to be his donor. She calls herselfhis, "little angel.""
This little angel is giving Matthew and his family hope.Medication is helping Matt do what he loves.
Matt said, "I was real tired before, but now I'm better, moreenergetic and able to play baseball."
Some of his teammates showed up to support him. People also hadthe opportunity to join the bone marrow registry.
Matt's father, Joe Stroud, said, "This is just overwhelming heretoday. I didn't know what to expect."
However, no one in the Stroud family is shocked that it is Jennawho is able to help her big brother.
"I wasn't surprised. She's always kind of been there for ourfamily. I figured if it was going to be anyone, it would be her,"explained Matt.
Jenn said, "I'm going to have a blood test on my hip, so I'mgiving it to him. Helping get the cancer away."
Life has tossed Matthew a cruve ball, but the student and secondbaseman is not backing away.
Matt said, "You just got to think positive and forget it so youcan feel better."
Family members tell News 4 Matt will be in the hospital forthree to six weeks for the transplant this summer. Recovery isexpected to take several months at home. Matt is hoping to play forthe New York Yankees or go into the medical field when he growsup.
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