By Ryan Elijah
November 25, 2011
Updated Nov 25, 2011 at 8:15 AM EST
Amanda Stambaugh finds herself in the fight of her life, she was managing a local restaurant two years ago when she was diagnosed with a form of Leukemia. While in remission, she received a call telling her she had a relapse and was in need of a bone marrow transplant. I met the 29-year-old this week, she had an amazingly positive attitude, even with another round of chemotherapy treatment just hours away.
"I just have a will to survive, I have a 5-year-old and an 8-year-old and I want to see them grow up, I want to see them graduate". said Amanda
Amanda has a cancer of the white blood cells and is need of bone marrow, which produces new blood cells. The best chance of finding a donor is a sibling, but Amanda is an only child. Her family knows the odds of finding an unrelated donor are about one-in-a-million, they're now on a family mission to raise awareness of the donor registry, even if its not Amanda that benefits.
Amanda said, "if we can raise awareness of being a bone marrow donor. I don't think most people realize how simple it is, to be a donor, even a possible donor"
There are about 8-million people on the registry, you can find all the information at marrow.org While there are a number of factors, the average donor is between 18 and 55 years old and in good health. The process is free to the donor and starts with a simple swab of the mouth for testing.
Like so many cancer victims, Amanda's family has experienced first hand how important that registry is.
"my family has all gone to the registry and if they can't be a donor for me, they want to be a donor for someone, because it really is lifesaving"
Amanda's best bet might be a cousin serving in Afghanistan, a test kit has already been sent to him overseas. On this Thanksgiving holiday, Amanda is grateful for the support of her Mom and Husband and the entire oncology team at Lutheran Hospital. While she's a big Green Bay Packers fan, she'd love a trip to Cleveland, where her transplant will take place when a donor is located