Booneville Pastor And Stem Cell Donor Fighting For His Own Life

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BOONEVILLE (KFSM) -- A Booneville man, who donated stem cells to save a leukemia patient, is now fighting for his own life.

John Taylor is a youth pastor at Free Will Baptist in Booneville.

“It is kind of a roller coaster ride,” Taylor said.

In February of 2012, Taylor was told he was a stem cell match for a leukemia patient in Europe and made the decision to make a donation to a stranger.

“It felt like I had a flu and someone had beaten me with a bat,” Taylor said. "If you can help someone why not.”

Taylor said after the donation the pain went away, but in March 2015, after visiting the Cooper Clinic in Fort Smith, he got the news that would change his life.

“Started off with prostate cancer,” Taylor said. “We thought it was all contained to the prostate and we were going to proceed with a prostatectomy to remove the prostate, but a sodium fluoride test shows I have a lesion in my right hip.”

Although Taylor said his cancer is a setback, he said he knows his community will be by his side.

"To hear that kind of news takes a little while for you to rationalize everything for you to think clear again,” Taylor said. “I could be killed in a car crash and cancer would not have any part of it. It makes you realize any moment could be our very last one regardless if we have cancer or any other type of illness we just need to live our life today we are not promised tomorrow anyway."

Taylor said he is being treated at UAMS in Little Rock, but medical bills have cost his family thousands of dollars.

A benefit to offset costs will be held Saturday (Sept. 12) for Taylor at DeSigner Barber & Stylist School from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The school is located at 2409 S. 56th St., Suite 118.

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