It was a 10 out of 10, perfect match.
Jacob Adashek recently hit the jackpot in the gamble for a bone marrow donor as the Fox Point native and leukemia patient found a perfect match.
"To be honest, I wasn't super surprised about getting a donor because I knew from the beginning that I would get through this disease and that was one piece of the puzzle," he said through a Facebook message to Patch. "I was relieved and thrilled to find out that I had a donor and that it was a 10 for 10 match."
How fortunate does Jacob feel? Jacob, who is expected to have a bone marrow transplant in September, corresponded with a 15-year-old post transplant survivor who didn't find a match for five years and his match was only a 6 for 10.
"In that respect, I am very fortunate. Seeing all of these people support me and communicating with me daily has been incredible," wrote Jacob, who is a student at a medical college in San Diego.
What has made is the amount of support he has received from family, friends and community members. More than 500 people have helped and followed Jacob's search for a bone marrow match on a Facebook page.
“The support and caring he has experienced has been overwhelming and heartwarming,” said Jacob's mother, Debbie Adashek.
Jacob’s sister, Amy Adashek, and Jacob’s longtime friend, Jake Levey, have been at the heart of the campaign, recruiting people to do a simple cheek swab to see if they are a match. Via Facebook, email and even user-submitted stories to online news outlets, the two have encouraged people to get themselves on the National Bone Marrow Registry.
"Jake has single-handedly, other than my parents and relatives,been the most supportive person I know. We were friends in high school and had classes together, but what he has done has been much more than that and more than anything I could have ever hoped for. He truly is a blessing and a real mensch," Jacob wrote.
His brother, Gary Adashek, described the initial news of learning that his younger brother was sick this spring as "shell shocking. It's almost mind-blowing."
"It's generally calming knowing that there was a match and willing to donate but there is a little bit of hesitation because he is still sick," he said.
Jacob's story is expected to have a happy ending. But as a Fox Point resident and family friend said, there are many more Jacob's in need of a transplant.
"Thank you everyone for sending your cells to a lab and being willing to step up to help someone," Nancy Barnett said in a Facebook post. "The fight is not over. There are many more people who have terrible diseases that need a bone marrow transplant. Thank you for being willing to help."
Anyone interested in getting on the National Bone Marrow Registry can visit the registry website to get a mail-in test. Donors simply swab the inside of their mouth and send the pre-paid envelope back to be put in the registry.
"Though no one really understands what I am going through, it is incredible and heartwarming to see people with as much compassion as I have seen, doing whatever they can to contribute to my cause. For that, I am truly blessed and my thanks goes out to many people," Jacob wrote.