A husband and father battling a blood cancer needs a bone marrow transplant

UNION TWP., Ohio - As he bounced his five month old baby on his knee, proud father Chris Herrell couldn't help but get a huge smile from his little girl, Alani.

The 39-year-old is finding joy in the simple pleasures with his wife and other two children, Chase, 8, and Rickson, 2, after he was diagnosed last November with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS).

"It's basically a rare form of blood cancer and the only cure is a bone marrow transplant and right now there isn't a donor because there is no match," said Herrell.

His blood cancer is the same kind as Good Morning America Anchor Robin Roberts. She found a bone marrow match in her sister. But Herrell, a sales manager for the Cincinnati Reds, hasn't been as fortunate. As a result, his family and friends are currently organizing registry drives. They're asking anyone between 18 and 44 to give a mouth swab to the marrow donor registry.

"If you think about it, ten million people are in the registry, and so many people have never been called because they don't match but the more people sign up, the better chance people have who are fighting this disease that don't have a sibling donor," said Laurie Herrell, Chris' wife.

Without a match, Chris' three children may lose their father and his wife would lose her best friend.

"It's easy to see this and think that is oh such a sad story but it's really happening and if someone would just go online and sign up they could truly save his life and save my husband, and a father and a friend," said Herrell. "We're praying hard for a miracle."

A marrow donor registry drive is taking place Sunday, Feb. 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the LifePoint Vineyard Church located at 7630 Bethany Road in Liberty Township.

Great American Ball Park is hosting another drive on Friday, Feb. 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.

Pattison Elementary School is hosting a drive on Saturday, Feb. 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. located at at 5330 South Milford Road in Milford.

You can also order a kit to do a swab and mail it back to the registry free of charge at www.bethematch.org.

For more information on donating bone marrow, including age restrictions, visit www.marrow.org.

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