If you've kept up with Spirit of Acadiana this week, you'll know the story of Camden Barnard. If you haven't, in short, Camden is a 10-year-old from Lafayette who was diagnosed with leukemia in September 2018. Everyone knows Camden, his aunt Rachael Scanlan said, and Acadiana has certainly shown their support for the fourth-grader, who was described as "perfect" and "brilliant" (he speaks two languages) by his aunt, Rachael Scanlan.
READ MORE: Spirit of Acadiana: Camden's cancer journey
He finished his treatment that November, was declared 'cured,' and all was well - until March 9, 2021. Now he and his family are back at New Orleans Children's Hospital with a new plan: getting the cancer back to remission, 28 days in an intensive immune therapy protocol, then, hopefully, a bone marrow transplant.
To find more people who can potentially become bone marrow donors and help out Camden and others like him, a "Be The Match" event was held Saturday in Lafayette. It took place in the parking lot at 100 Asma Blvd. from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. There was also a Bloodmobile and food available for those attending to enjoy.
It was easy enough - just swab the inside of your mouth to potentially join the bone marrow registry. Doctors from around the world search the Be The Match registry to find matches for their patients. According to Be The Match, about 1 in 430 members of the registry in the U.S. will go on to donate bone marrow to a patient.
People came out to support Camden and his family, something his uncle says is important, especially during a time that can sometimes feel so difficult.
"In times like this when we seem so divided on so many issues politically, socially, economically, where we've had to be separated for so long because of COVID, I think people really need to see communities coming together for something like this," said Michael Scanlan. "Rallying behind one person, for one cause, that everybody believes in. You see people coming in that are totally different from one another, but we're all behind the sake of humanity."
Be The Match events happen all over the country. Find more information on the registry and how to help at bethematch.org.
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