14-year-old boy battling cancer looks to community for blood stem cell transplant

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – A local 14-year-old boy is getting help from the community in his battle against cancer. After almost two years of searching – he might have found a cure.

“If this process goes well I should be cured,” Jehvan Crompton said.

He was diagnosed with leukemia in 2019, and it’s been an uphill battle since.

“We never take our kids to the doctor unless something’s wrong,” said Kimberly Crompton, Jehvan’s mother. “We found out Jehvan had leukemia, he was preparing to have a foot surgery. I got the phone call and it was of course a blow out the water, like, cancer?”

The doctor told him that a blood stem cell donation could treat his cancer. He just needs to find someone that’s a genetic match.

“Before we took things for granted, not realizing it,” Crompton said. “But now he has a second chance at life to really appreciate life for what it is.”

This is already a difficult task – but even more so for Crompton due to the low percentage of black bone marrow donors.

“With the percentages being so low when it comes to African Americans, we get blood cancers we get leukemia, blood disorders, we don’t make it,” said Joel Holley, a representative from Be the Match. “No sugar coating, none of the above we don’t make it. Because we don’t have people that match.”

The City of Hope Hospital has a program called “Be the Match” that connects donors to patients with a blood cancer or disease.

“So in order to find matches, I go into the community and I explain to the black communities that it’s important for us to sign up so if one of us gets sick, someone can save their life and will match,” Holley said.

Representatives came out to southwest Bakersfield to swab dozens of people – looking for a match for Crompton or another patient.

“I didn’t think this many people would come out,” Jehvan Crompton said. “So it’s really great that we can find matches for other people as well, and me if there is a match.”

You can still sign up to help the Crompton family and other patients in need of donations. Just text “TeamChocolateVon” to 61474. City of Hope Hospital will ask you some questions to see if you’re eligible. If you are – they’ll send you a swab with instructions to complete the test at home.

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