"I'm not ready to check out yet." Young mother asking community to help save her life
Rikki Mitchell reportsPhoto: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Rikki Mitchell
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Time is running out for Phyllis Roberts.
Roberts re-married at the end of May during a small ceremony in Mesa, Ariz. She had planned on moving to a mining town in New Mexico to live with her husband and children.
But one month after her wedding, all those plans came to a screeching halt when she found out she had Leukemia.
"I can only do two more chemo's," she says. "It has to be lined up in time, so when my last chemo is done I'm ready to go."
She's talking about a stem-cell transplant--something to give her a chance at beating the cancer.
But she needs to find a match, and fast.
Her friends and family are organizing a donor drive where anyone can take a simple test to find out if they are a match.
"It's not too painful, it's free and if you could save my life, I'd appreciate it," says Roberts.
Roberts says she is thankful for her support system here in Tucson, which includes her friend Karen Breckon.
Breckon is pleading to the community to save her friend.
"I want her to have a long life, I want her to enjoy her new marriage and continue to raise her children and have a wonderful life," says Breckon. "She has a 20 percent chance of survival without a donor and shes a young mother, and she's needed by her family. Please donate."
Oscar Correa with Be The Match, a national donor program, says her chances of finding a match depend on how many people show up to donor drives, or register as donors.
"You're donating to a complete stranger and that's the kind of commitment we're asking people to make," says Correa. "You're not donating for any particular person, you just want to help, you just want to make a difference."
Potential donors need to have their cheeks swabbed to find out if they could be a match. If the initial DNA test shows they could be a match, the next step is blood work.
Correa says the actual process of donating what Roberts needs is similar to donating blood, and there is no cost to the donor during any stage of the process.
Roberts says this whole process scares her.
"I'm not ready to check out yet," she says. "I just got married at the end of May, and between the two of us we have eight children and I like being a mom, I like being a wife and I don't like this part of it."
The donor drive for Roberts will be held on Saturday, September 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 3530 W. Magee Rd.
For more information on what it takes to be a donor, and how you can register visit the Be The Match website.