COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Columbus County deputy’s son is battling Leukemia for the third time. Colby Byrd was diagnosed when he was two, and now, at the age of nine, he needs a bone marrow transplant.
Colby Byrd’s mom, Hope, said her son is a typical nine-year-old, except for the fact that he relapsed into his third battle with Leukemia in March.
“He’ll look at you, and he’ll cross his fingers and he’ll say, ‘you know, momma, me and God are just like this.’” Byrd said. “He said, ‘God talks to me, and I talk to God.’ He said, ‘I’m telling you. I’m gonna be ok.'”
Byrd said she and her husband draw their strength from Colby and their community.
“Me and Hope grew up really close to each other,” friend and bone marrow drive organizer Sabrina Ward said. “We’re just community neighbors. We’re not related, but that doesn’t mean anything.”
Ward’s 12-year-old daughter also battled and has beaten Leukemia, and she knew she had to do something to help the Byrds.
When the doctors decided they couldn’t do more chemo, and a bone marrow transplant was necessary, Colby’s parents were tested to see if they matched. Because neither of Colby’s parents were a bone marrow match, hundreds of members of their community came out to get tested, with a few simple swabs of a Q-tip.
“It was heart-breaking and devastating for us not knowing that we would be the ones to save his life, but there’s the potential that somebody else could,” Byrd said.
People from all over came out to Columbus County’s first ever bone marrow drive. The event took place at Old Dock School, where Colby is a third grader. Colby couldn’t be at the drive because he’s getting his last round of treatments at Chapel Hill.
“I’m praying for a match,” donor Phyllis Fowler said. “If I could be the match, I would walk to wherever it is in order to get there for him.”
“If we aren’t able to help Colby today, we may be able to help someone else,” Ward said. “There may be someone in Kentucky or somewhere else that we can help today. So, there’s more to it than just one person. We’re here to just help anybody we can.”
Everyone at the drive is praying for a match, especially Colby’s little sister, Grace.
“I’m excited so he can come home,” said Byrd.
The bone marrow transplant is tentatively scheduled for this summer.