AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Before his hospitalization, Kyle, a 2002 graduate of Canyon High School, attended College of the Canyons and hoped eventually to pursue a degree in criminal justice. “I want to do something involving investigation,” he said during a phone interview. “Maybe be a private investigator, or go to law school.” Kyle is strong in his faith, which helps his attitude, his father said. “We don’t expect that to change,” Steve said, noting it’s tough on family. “It’s difficult to watch your only child go through this; we take it one day at a time.” The family has a large contingent of supporters from Heart of the Canyons Church, where Kyle serves as a youth group leader during better times. Congregants offer up prayer, provide meals to the parents three days a week and send Kyle inspirational e-mails at the rate of 10 to 30 a week. DUARTE – A gift from across the Atlantic quite possibly saved the life last week of a Canyon Country man. Kyle LeDoux, who turned 21 in his hospital suite at City of Hope, received a stem cell transplant Thursday from a donor in Europe. LeDoux had a bone marrow transplant Aug. 24 that failed to graft, throwing him and his parents into a waiting game that ended Oct. 14 when a donor agreed to give peripheral blood stem cells to the young man who beat lymphoma but has no immune system. “Stem cells graft more quickly,” Steve LeDoux, his father, said. “Usually siblings are the best candidate for transplants, but since he’s an only child, Kyle will have to go with an unrelated donor with blood and DNA compatibility.” The church also has scheduled a bone marrow donor registry drive from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at La Mesa Junior High, where the congregation holds Sunday services. Adults up to age 60 can register; a vial of blood is drawn and sent for screening to determine tissue type. City of Hope in Duarte has received federal funding to underwrite the cost of testing for ethnic donors who are of Latino, African-American, Asian, Pacific Islander, American Indian or mixed-race heritage; white donors are asked to make a $25 donation to help defray the costs, which are about $65 per sample. Qualifying participants are listed in the national registry within six to eight weeks and stay on the registry until they request to be taken off or reach the age of 60. “The doctors have told me what to expect and they’re very confident with the results of stem cell transplants,” Kyle said. “It should go smoothly. I’m kind of feeding off of that, plus talking with the nurses and other patients who have had it done.” After the transplant, doctors will wait for his white cell count to increase to a healthy level. He made sure to mention his girlfriend, Heather Powell, as part of his bedside support team. “She was just here,” he said. “She’s a wonderful girl and I love her.” “He keeps us all going, being young and in love,” Robbin LeDoux said. “It’s exhausting, it’s every parent’s worst nightmare. This is life-changing; everything you planned has to be readjusted and it makes you put priorities in order.” Robbin said Kyle developed a sudden and severe case of pneumonia in the summer of 2002, when he was diagnosed with common variable immune deficiency. “His marrow just stopped producing white blood cells, so he started getting monthly infusions of immunoglobulin,” Robbin said. “Last summer, a lymph node in his neck was biopsied and he was diagnosed in December with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He started chemotherapy on Dec. 27. “The doctor wasn’t sure he was going to survive the chemo and he sailed right through,” she said. “He explained all the horrible details of what could go wrong with the transplant, but that Kyle’s cancer would return without repairing his immune system. We asked ourselves, why should we do this?” Robbin said that their experience with Kyle’s ordeal has made her and her husband advocates of the national marrow registry program. “I cannot believe with the mixing pot that this country is that there isn’t someone for anyone who needs a transplant,” she said. “It’s so simple; you may have the opportunity to save someone’s life.” What the couple – and their community – is praying for now is that the stem cell transplant makes everything normal for Kyle. “Life is on hold for him right now. Usually he’s up and confident and the staff here is just incredible. Patients come back to visit; Kyle met a young man named Zach who also is 21 whose journey started when he was 18. He had a lot of serious complications and he’s fine now. It’s so encouraging to see and hear that, that people really do get through this. We are trying to stay positive. “We’re just going to be strong, we have to be strong for our kids. We have total faith that God’s gonna get us through this. There’s an old saying `If He brings us to it, He’ll see us through it’ and I believe that.” “He brought us this far,” Kyle added, optimistically. La Mesa Junior High School is at 26623 May Way in Canyon Country. E-mails to Kyle may be sent to [email protected] Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
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