Boise teen with rare disease finds one in a million match for life-saving transplant

It's been a long journey through a dark tunnel, but the end is in sight (CBS 2 File Photo).

Saved by a stranger — a Boise teen battling a rare disease has found his one in a million match for a bone marrow transplant that could save his life.

It's been a tiresome journey for 18-year-old Jake Lindsey, after finding out last spring he has a rare blood disease known as severe aplastic anemia. The disease causes bone marrow to stop producing enough blood cells and destroys the immune system.

Lindsey learned he had the disease at the end of his senior year at Capital High School.

So, began the race to find a match for a lifesaving bone marrow transplant. Several bone marrow drives have been held in his honor.

This week, Lindsey got good news! Doctors found a perfect 10/10 match.

"We have a lot of people in this world but not a lot of people get on the registry," said Lindsey. "There will always be a person out there for someone to get a match, but it's whether they got on the registry that makes it count."

Lindsey's doctor is aiming for September to do the transplant, but he needs one or two more blood infusions before then.

Once he receives the bone marrow transplant, he will need to stay at the hospital in Portland for a few months. Then, he'll go home to recover with about a year's worth of physical therapy ahead of him.

I have a lot of hope.

It's been a long journey through a dark tunnel, but the end is in sight.

"I feel like there's a little light," said Lindsey. "But, I know there's still a long road ahead. I have a lot of hope."

Lindsey said he hopes to meet his donor someday. However, he won't be able to find out any information about the donor until one year after surgery. Then, if both of them agree to it — they can meet.

For now, Lindsey said he's focused on getting healthy. Eventually, he hopes to go onto college at Boise State University.

You can help Jake Lindsey and his family with medical expenses here through his GoFundMe page.

Sign up to be on the bone marrow registry here through Be The Match.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off