Bone marrow drive held for Ark. deacon

Searching for a match one cheek at a time

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Hundreds poured out of services at St. Mark Baptist Church in Little Rock Sunday. The church hosted a bone marrow drive for one of their own.

As one of the largest churches in Central Arkansas, St. Mark is always able to make a big impact in the community. Cory Adams, a deacon at the church, was diagnosed with aplastic anemia in January.

"Cory is very positive about his condition,” said  Tevia Adams, Cory’s wife.

Searching for a match, one cheek at a time. Adams stood in for him at the drive today because his condition limits interaction with lots of people.

“In the process of our research we found there are a lot of people who need a match,” said Dwayne Gentry, a member of St. Mark.

Gentry helped put together the event. He is hopeful more than one match is secured.

"Aplastic anemia is a condition where your bone marrow stops working,” said Adams. 

Your body stops producing the blood cells needed to fight infections.

"Currently we're going through therapy at UAMS. And he goes into the doctor for blood draws 2-3 times a week. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday,” said Adams.

DKMS, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting blood related illnesses, sponsored the drive.

"We hope it'll be a blessing to not only Cory, but to all of those who are registered and need a bone marrow transplant,” said Outreach Pastor, Glenn Hersey, was also pivotal in the organization of the drive.

"Before aplastic, he was very active and very healthy. He was personal trainer and he worked out a lot,” said Adams.

The diagnosis shocked Cory’s family.

"But he's really positive about it and knows that he's already been healed,” said Adams.

Keeping the faith and being selfless even in his own time of need. Members said Cory is more concerned about others than himself.

"Cory has touched so many lives and he knows so many people. Many have said, hey I want to do this for Cory. But he's saying don't do it for me, do it for whoever needs it,” said Gentry.

The church thinks the biggest misconception about donating is fear.

"People just need to educate themselves on what the process is,” said Hersey.  “You have to become eligible number one and then you've got to be swabbed. From that process you’ll see if you're eligible to be a donor to someone on the register.”

The St. Mark community is confident they can help Adams and are already looking to continue their efforts in the future. Cory's fight shows how expensive fighting cancer can be so they are considering starting a foundation to help other families with medical travel and hotel costs.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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