CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – Judge Carl Fox might be spending more time in a hospital room than a courtroom these days.
The Resident Superior Court Judge, who covers Orange and Chatham counties, found out something was wrong with his health in April.
“I have myelodysplastic syndrome,” he said.
He’s getting treatment at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center for the blood cancer, which is known as MDS. Fox, 61, needs a bone marrow transplant.
“It’s interesting. You learn a lot about your body. I don’t feel badly,” Fox said.
It’s been a learning experience for him and his girlfriend, Julia Smith.
“I wasn’t that familiar with bone marrow transplants and I was an oncology nurse.”
Among the facts they have learned:
About 25 million people are signed up as donors on the national registry, but only seven percent are African American, according to the organization Delete Blood Cancer.
Fox is among the 14,000 people sitting on the list this year waiting on a match, which can come from someone of another race, but odds improve if two people are of the same race, according Delete Blood Cancer.
“For someone like me, it increases if there are more particularly young African American donors to the bone marrow registry,” said Fox, who is African American.
In an effort to find his match, a campaign launched called “Save the Fox.”
It includes a Facebook page and a bone marrow registry drive scheduled for July 17 and 18th in Chapel Hill.
Organizers are working with Delete Blood Cancer and details on the drive are still being worked out.
“I think for us, it’s been an opportunity to feel like we have some control in a situation where you feel like you’ve lost a lot of control,” Smith said.
“I can’t tell you how surprised I am by the response,” Fox said.
A Facebook page called “Save the Fox” has been created. The national Delete Blood Cancer campaign can be accessed here – http://www.deletebloodcancer.org/.