Radcliff boy battling Leukemia finds source of hope -- his own b - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Radcliff boy battling Leukemia finds source of hope -- his own brother

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Radcliff boy battling a potentially fatal form of cancer has found a source of hope.

Sam Adams needs a bone marrow transplant, but finding a match is rare.  It turns out a solution was only a family member away.

The beeps coming from the IV machine are of little consequence to Sam Adams, as he's paying attention to the beeps from a video game:  "I tossed them at Batman ---- hee, hee, hee," Sam says.

As Sam defeats the bad guys on his Nintendo DS, an IV is pumping antibodies into him to fight off the internal "bad guys" and boost his immune system. 

His biggest nemesis, Leukemia, was first defeated in March after a four-year bout.  But it reared its ugly head again in July, attacking Sam's central nervous system.

His mother, Chrystal Brigman, says, "You just kind of enjoy the little things, and then you fight until you can't fight anymore.  I'm just blessed to have options."

For this next bout, Sam will need a partner -- someone to provide a bone marrow transfusion. Luckily, his three-year-old brother Jack turned out to be a perfect match. 

Sam says of Jack, "I like Legos, he likes Legos. And Jack is different. He's not the same height. He's little."

Dr. Arun Panigrahi, Asst. Professor of Pediatric Oncology, explains, "We spent a lot of time helping, and he's very eager to help his brother. It's a great story."

The procedures could begin in the next week or so, and leave Sam in the hospital for up to 10 weeks, doubling the stress for mom, who says, "You know, you get overwhelmed.  It's overwhelmingly scary because I'm looking at both sides. I have a donor and one receiving, so it's both sides."

Sam knows the generous gift his three-year-old brother is offering, and says it's one he'd be willing to repay if he could:  "I would help him -- I would donate my bone marrow to him, too."

If Sam is over a recent cold by this Tuesday, he could be cleared to start the bone marrow transplant in less than two weeks.

Typical bone marrow transplants have a greater than 50 percent success rate.  Sibling donors, his doctor says, are closer to 80 percent.

Copyright 2013 WDRB News.  All rights reserved.

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