Leukemia patient hopes Facebook will save his life - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Leukemia patient hopes Facebook will save his life

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A Richmond man suffering from leukemia is hoping Facebook can help unite him with the one man who could save his life.

Paul Zamecnik got some great news when he found a stem cell donor who could help cure his disease. But now the donor has vanished and he needs your help to track him down.

All he knows is that this donor is a 25-year-old man who lives in the U.S. That's not terribly specific and finding him would be a real long shot. Then again, just being matched with a donor was a one in 10 million shot to begin with.

Zamecnik is now working Facebook hoping his plea will find the right set of eyes that could save his life.

Read and share Paul's plea on Facebook

He was diagnosed with leukemia 8 years ago at the age of 45 and has had three kinds of chemotherapy in recent years. The treatments have helped, but over time the remissions get shorter and eventually the treatments stop working.

"Basically I'm a really good candidate for a transplant. The only thing I'm missing is a donor," said Zamecnik.

It was amazing that one potential match was found. Out of 10 million registered donors, there was just one good match, but the potential life-saving donor didn't show up for his appointment and now is listed as unavailable on the registry.

"I have no way of knowing who it is and where he lives," Zamecnik explained. "The donor programs keep all that at an arm's length. But I sure would love to get him to change his mind.

That's where Facebook comes in. Paul has issued a plea.

He writes, "After all, we are only 6 degrees of separation from everyone in the world, right? And what better gift is there during this holiday season than giving someone a second chance at life? Would you please help me out by reposting this?"

"It's a bit of a long shot, but I've really got nothing to lose," admits Zamecnik.

Zamecnik is also hoping more people sign up to be stem cell donors.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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