Cale's Cause: Doctors find partial match for Gordon Co. soldier - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cale's Cause: Doctors find partial match for Gordon Co. soldier

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GORDON COUNTY, GA. (WRCB) -- Doctors believe they have a match for the north Georgia soldier in need of a bone marrow transplant. But there is another hurdle ahead.

A search for a bone marrow match started not long after Private Cale Wooten was diagnosed with acute myelocytic leukemia.

The Gordon Central High School graduate was halfway through basic training, when he was diagnosed.

"The community really embraced Cale's story, and they came out in droves," says Dwayne Simmons with Blood Assurance.

Chatsworth residents showed up in droves, to join the bone marrow registry, hoping to be the match.

"Cale Wooten's family says, thank you," says Cale's great-aunt, Beverly Higgins.

There were 47 partial matches.

But Cale's mom Tabitha says, "There was not a perfect match for him."

Now doctors at Johns Hopkins believe they can use a half match, which means Cale's father, mother, sister and brother are candidates.

But doctors have to get the cancer under control first.

Doctors plan to use a trial drug to put Cale into remission, with heavy hitting chemotherapy to follow.

And then finally, the bone marrow transplant.

Cale's mother Tabitha Kelley says her son keeps fighting and is encouraged by support from home.

"He's definitely hanging in there," she says.

"He sent me a picture the other morning, where he decided he needed to put his uniform on at the hospital," adds Tabitha. "He put it on and sent me a picture and said, ‘I miss this'. And I said, ‘it won't be long, and we'll have you back in that'."

Cale's mom says he has one shot at the trial drug working.

After one treatment, the cancer becomes immune to it.

While there was not a perfect match, Tabitha says she is grateful for the people who joined the registry for Cale's Cause, because they could end up saving someone else's loved one.


Private Wooten's mother has set up a Facebook page to document her son's battle. You can leave notes of encouragement here.


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