After a bone marrow donation from a stranger helped him overcome a bout with leukemia, James Chippendale produced a documentary to raise awareness of the condition, reports the Dallas Morning News.
Chippendale, a native of Plano, Texas, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia several years ago. He was able to survive, however, thanks to a donation from Klaus Kaiser, who lives in a small village in Germany.
This donation inspired Chippendale to produce “More to Live For,” a documentary about the matching process between cancer victims and potential donors. The film features three men affected by this link – one who survived, one who did not and one who is still looking for a match.
Following a screening of the documentary at the Dallas International Film Festival, a charity founded by Chippendale used cheek swabs to help add attendees to the donor database. Susan Brecker, a woman whose late husband Michael was featured in the movie, said that the event was what she had wanted for her husband before his death.
“Klaus Kaiser stopped to donate and saved me,” Chippendale said. “I started a charity where people swabbed cheeks and they saved people. And who knows what those people have done. It’s one life at a time.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 33,616 people in the United States were diagnosed with leukemia in 2005, with 21,716 Americans dying from the disease that same year.
People who have been diagnosed with leukemia can contact the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for resources that will help them thrive despite their illness.