Mississippi State football program helps area 2-year-old search for transplant match

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- Earlier this year, we brought you the story of 1-year-old from West Point who was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome, or MDS– a rare blood cancer.

Now, Mason is two years old and will most likely have to undergo a bone marrow transplant.

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However, the road to finding a match isn’t an easy one.

When Saturday’s big game rolls around, most people are looking for a win, but Alicia Cherry and her son Mason are looking for a match.

“He was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome back in October of 2018. Since he’s been on the registry, he’s had a blood transfusion and he’s been stable, so if there is an immediate reason for the transplant, we want to already have the match,” said Cherry.

The “Be The Match” organization is helping Mason to find a donor.

Even though they have about 19 million people in their registry, finding a match is still a challenge.

“Mason only has a 23 percent chance of finding a match, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed. He’s a very vibrant little two year old, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed,” said Cherry.

Mason is also the son of Marcus Murphy, a Mississippi State football player.

During the first time-out of the game, the team advocated for “Be The Match” by giving Mason some time on the field.

“Mason is one of a thousand people every year that needs a life-saving bone marrow transplant. It’s hitting home because everyone knows Mississippi State football, everyone knows all of the players, and this is very personal… Marcus is part of the family, and Mason is part of our family too. What do you do when a family member is hurt or injured or needs help? You help them out,” said account manager Dan Gariepy.

At the end of the day, friends and family members of Mason hope to find a match, but they also hope to help everyone else who may be in a similar situation.

“Advocate for the registry. Join the registry. People like Mason, they don’t have a choice when it comes to being sick, but you do, and that choice is to help. So, it could really help change someone’s life,” said Cherry.

“You know, if could be you. You could be the life-saving donor for somebody who’s battling a life-threatening blood cancer,” said Gariepy.

For more information on Be The Match, click here.

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