GREENDALE -- “I was feeling perfectly fine.”
16-year-old Jordan Schindler had no idea he was so sick. Now he hopes his story can improve the chances of people like him, battling a life threatening illness.
The Greendale teenager was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Leukemia earlier this year, after some routine blood work. He was getting his wisdom teeth out, and the lab results led to frightening news.
“I guess I was surprised it was me out of everyone that has cancer,” Jordan said in an interview at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
“Everyone here, on this floor in the hot unit, has a story. There's babies and toddlers, people my age, people above my age here.”
He’s now enduring multiple, punishing rounds of chemotherapy, and will ultimately need a bone marrow transplant.
Doctor Rachel Phelan at Children’s explains, “We know the use of BMT or blood and marrow transplant can offer them the greatest chance of being cured, long term.”
The trick is to find a donor. Bone marrow donors need to be compatible with the cancer patient, and in many cases relatives don’t match up. That leaves patients hoping for a match on a registry of willing donors.
“We do very often have to look at that unrelated donor registry to see what is available to them,” Dr. Phelan said.
It’s why Jordan’s picture is posted all over downtown Greendale.
The community is hosting a “Be The Match” drive at the high school Wednesday night. While it appears Jordan has several potential donor matches, he’s hopeful matches for other cancer patients may come from this effort.
“I hope it helps other people find matches and alerts people to how important it is. A lot of people are still trying to find matches.”