SAN ANTONIO – Reggie Campbell, a 40-year-old father and photographer from San Antonio, died Friday morning after a three year battle with a rare form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
KSAT shared Campbell’s story in January hoping to find a stem cell or bone marrow transplant to help him beat the blood cancer. The best hope for a cure for patients who are fighting blood cancers and disorders is a stem cell or bone marrow transplant.
“More than 600 people joined the registry in his honor, and countless others donated blood and platelets because of his story,” said GenCure spokesperson Ashley Frolick.
Stem cell and bone marrow transplants require a much more specific match between donors and patients than something like a blood transfusion and are most likely to come from someone who has the same ethnic background.
Unfortunately, minorities have a harder time finding a match through the registry due to a lack of donors with similar backgrounds.
GenCure, a South Texas nonprofit group that facilitates stem cell and bone marrow donations, told KSAT in January that there are “20 million people on the registry, [but] only 4% are African Americans.”
Campbell, who received a 50% match transplant from his sister in 2017, was surrounded by his family and loved ones on the morning of his passing Frolick told KSAT.
Each person who registers as a donor provides a chance — even if it’s an extremely small one — that somebody in need could get cured.
You can find more information on the registry and signup process here.