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Rochester Boy Asking for 888 Cards for 8th Birthday

November 17, 2017 08:53 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Seven-year-old Sammy Chesney has big dreams of the future.

"I want to be a weatherman when I grow up," he said.

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But right now, he and his family are focused on a diagnosis he received last month.

"Sammy had gotten sick with what he had thought was the flu, then it turned out a few days later he had turned yellow and we found out he had hepatitis," his dad Jeff said.

After spending most of July in the hospital, he seemed to be on the upswing until October.

"We found his platelet level was really low and the platelets are responsible for clotting your blood, so a follow-up with a hematology doctor said that he had aplastic anemia that was caused by this viral hepatitis he had during the summer," his mom Kelsey, a nurse, said.

Now, days before his eighth birthday, he's waiting on a bone marrow transplant, which is made more complicated by his genetic makeup. Doctors searched a national transplant database and found no matches in the entire country.

"We have potentially one match, and we just found out (Thursday) it’s maybe in Sweden," Kelsey said.

So while Sammy waits for the ultimate present, he's asking for something else in the meantime-- birthday cards. 888, to be exact.

The idea came from one of Kelsey's friends, who offered to organize a card drive after learning how happy Sammy was to receive mail during previous hospital stays. The 888 number is based on his soon-to-be age: 8.

"He’s turning 8 on November 23 which is Thanksgiving," Kelsey said. "Originally with our timeline we thought maybe he would be in the hospital getting his transplant."

Kelsey called the goal "lofty," but thinks it's achievable. 

To meet the goal, they're asking for help from the community to give the future meteorologist a ray of sunshine on Turkey Day.

To send Sammy a card, mail it to:

Sammy Chesney

10 N. Minnesota Ave.

Unit 135

Oronoco, MN 55960

The family is also hosting a drive to register bone marrow donors on Saturday, November 18 at Calvary Evangelical Free Church in Rochester, MN from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  You can also register online by clicking here.


Credits

Logan Reigstad

Copyright 2017 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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