October 11, 2013
When Sean was a toddler, he was diagnosed with ALD, adrenoleukodystrophy, a potentially fatal disease. A bone marrow transplant would offer him the best opportunity for a longer life.
In November 2008, Stephen McCormick was a student at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall when he signed up for the Be The Match Registry at a donor recruitment drive being conducted on campus by Because I Care. About four months later he received a phone call that he might match a four-year-old boy who had ALD.
“When I was contacted, I was shocked that I was even a possible match,” said McCormick. “To be the ‘one’ is a special thing. I thought, ‘What a great opportunity to help someone.’ I considered it a blessing to be able to be used by God to help save someone’s life.”
The transplant took place in April 2009. McCormick’s marrow was collected at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. The life-giving marrow was then flown to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Sean’s transplant was facilitated.
Sean was the second child in the Suppan family to be diagnosed with ALD. Another son, David, had the same disease and passed away at the age of 10. Sean’s mother, Ellen, said the McCormick’s donation allowed them to do for Sean what they couldn’t do for their older son…save his life.
Stephen McCormick had high praise for Because I Care. He said the organization made it possible for him to save Sean’s life. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat,” he said. “The pain was worth it because I knew how important this was.”