Kenneth Cheeks is looking for his perfect match.
The search began March 30, when after going to the dentist to get his teeth pulled, Kenneth Cheeks ended up in the hospital.
“His strength started leaving him, I mean he couldn’t even get out of bed, so we went to Redmond Regional and within a couple of hours they had diagnosed him,” his wife Renae Cheeks explained.
That day, Cheeks found out he had Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a cancer that affects both the blood and bone marrow.
He would soon find out he also had a rare gene, which is why so far he has been unable to receive treatment. Doctors have recommended a transplant, which would give him the chance to have a full recovery.
However, at this moment, they haven’t found someone who could be a suitable donor.
Renae Cheeks said, “There are millions of people in the database but there wasn’t a match for him, so we’re reaching out to the community, and hoping and praying for a match.”
The Cheeks’ church family, Thankful Missionary Baptist Church, will be hosting a bone marrow drive for Kenneth Cheeks this Sunday, July 21.
Located on 935 Spider Webb Drive, the event will begin at 1 p.m. at the church and last until 5 p.m. Ages 18-44 are able to register for free, however there is a $100 fee for those over the age of 44.
Mouth swabs will be done on-site for testing.
Also, Stephanie Jones, a coordinator from “Be The Match,” will give a presentation at Thankful’s 10:45 a.m. service. She will be speaking on the importance of being a donor and dispelling the myths surrounding its requirements.
Renae Cheeks said, “A lot of people don’t understand that ‘transplant’ doesn’t necessarily mean surgery.”
She expressed her gratitude for the support the community has been showing them through this ordeal.
“Our church family has been a rock. Along with our pastor, they have been so loving and supportive. A lot of other family and friends, too ... even his school teacher,” she said while laughing.
She admits they still have a long way to go.
“I’m not sure how long we’re gonna be dealing with this, but everyone’s just been a blessing. Even though Kenneth has a rare gene, we still trust and believe in God that there is a match.”
For anyone looking for further information, you can contact Renae Cheeks at 706-766-4341 or Chanterria McKeever at Thankful at 706-291-8132.