Local 16-year-old searching for bone marrow donor

Fighting a 16-year battle.

Doctors diagnosed Shalei Cobb with Neutropenia at 8-months-old.

"She was septic. She was very sick," recalled her mother, Bobbi Muncy.

Bobbi says this rare bone marrow failure disease affects her daughter's white blood cells that fight off bacteria called Neutrophils.

Shalei says one thing helps her get through the hard days.

"Even though I'm not good at playing music, I really love listening to music," said Shalei.

Two months ago, Shalei found out she has Acute Lymphoblastic (ALL) Leukemia.

"She just really needs some body's help, anybody," said Bobbi.

Shalei's friends Bailey Burchfield and Alexis Newsome at Pike Central High School hope to help her through the treatments.

"We're really a family here at Pike Central, especially in FCA. We're all really close and anyway we feel like we can help, we want to," explained Alexis.

Students at Pike Central have organized several drives to alleviate some of her health stressors.

They, along with multiple feeder schools, made hundreds of cards to send to Lexington.

"I really appreciate all the stuff that they send me and the stuff they do at school," said Shalei.

Shalei is currently a patient at U.K. Hospital and has been undergoing chemotherapy, as of January 23, 2019, she is in remission.

However, she continues receiving bridge chemo to keep the disease at bay until a bone marrow match is found.

Shalei studies from her hospital bed so she doesn't fall behind in her classes.

Andrea and Jason Humphries work at Pike Central. They say they are proud of the students.

"She knows that she is loved by all of us here," said Andrea.

Bobbi says there is only one cure for her daughter's disease.

"Her only choice to be able to have a normal life is to get somebody, some stranger out there to give their bone marrow," said Bobbi.

She says her daughter desperately needs to find a donor.

"That will cure her of her cancer and it will cure her of the Neutropenia," Bobbi pointed out.

Now, they are searching for a match.

"I wasn't a match. Dad wasn't a match and her brother wasn't a match," explained Bobbi.

You can follow these 4 easy steps to save a life.

1.) Register online here.
2.) Receive a cheek swab kit in the mail.
3.) Swab your cheek and return the kit.
4.) Get Matched.

The genetic complexity of matching donors to patients could take weeks, months, or years before you're contacted to donate.
Shalei's mother says her daughter needs a 10/10 scale match.

"I guess they have to have black and Indian because my grandmother was Indian and white," explained Bobbi.

"It's really important. It's going to save my life," said Shalei.



 
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