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Suncoast man is off to to campaign for the registry that saved his life

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Posted: Monday, July 15, 2013 5:34 pm | Updated: 6:48 pm, Mon Jul 15, 2013.

Sarasota resident Pinkney Davis said,  "I would be in the ground right now, I'd be dead, I would have passed away."

This is what would have happened had he not received the life saving bone marrow transplant that was made possible with the help of Be the Match Registry.

Davis had what they consider a pre-condition of leukemia.  It didn't look good and following an abnormal bone marrow biopsy, three doctors from three separate hospitals said he needed a bone marrow transplant, but, given his condition it would take five years.  With the help of Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Pinkney enlisted Be The Match who found a donor. 

Mary Pinkney was her sons care-giver when he was undergoing treatment, and now she is making the trip to help him campaign to change the minds of the decision makers on Capitol Hill.

"When it is you're child, you're devastated, but you realize that is something that has to be done," she said, "and so you go deep, you pull up all your resources and you say, I'm gonna master this."

Finding the donor and going through treatment weren't the only challenges.  Pinkney said that a lot of people go bankrupt and just can't afford the transplant.

"I'll tell them just how difficult it is, and I couldn't even imagine going through this without health insurance, my cost was about six hundred and fifty thousand, I had insurance and with insurance it was far, far less."

What happens to people that can't have the life-saving procedure or find a match?

"They will pass away.  I didn't have an option, I had a fifty percent chance of living.

That fifty percent chance of living was with the transplant.  Now Pinkney's mother said that three years later, her son is doing well and he can go for whole year without going back for a check up, and that's wonderful.

For more information on Be The Match Registry go to their website.

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