Community rallies around Boise teen in need of a bone marrow transplant

Posted at 6:24 PM, May 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-20 20:24:18-04

Students at Capital High School are rallying around a senior athlete as he faces a difficult challenge off the court.

"I was in the hospital for 22 days," said Jake Lindsey.

Lindsey never thought he would be spending his senior year fighting for his life. 
About a month ago the 17-year old was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia.    

"It's closely related to Leukemia," said Jake.

The student-athlete says he has always been healthy.

"A Plastic Anemia is something where my immune system attacks itself, and that's why I wear a mask and gloves where ever I go," said Jake.

His nightmare all started with red dots on his body. He says he didn't think much of it and casually told his mom. 

"He was a little bit warm when I touched him, and he mentioned he had a rash, and so I asked to see it," said Robin Anselme, Jake's mom

"And my mom told me to take my temperature I was being stubborn and when we finally did my temperature was at a 104," said Jake.

After going to the emergency room, they were referred to an oncology team. 

"When they came back into the room and they had masks on I was very concerned. because they knew what his counts were he had 1,000 in platelets," said Anselme.

She added that is way below what a normal count should be. The news came as a shock. They didn't know much about Jake's condition, but they had to get up to speed quickly. Since then to keep Jake alive he's undergone close to 20 platelets and blood transfusions. In a couple of weeks, he will have to go through a process called ATG  while he waits for a bone marrow transplant. So his family and friends have teamed up with Be the Match and local schools. Capital High School held a fundraiser for Jake on Friday. The fundraiser is just one of many events the community is putting together for Team Jake.

"We are walking around to as many families as we can just asking them if you aren't already on the registry would you be willing to get on the registry come over its very simple its a piece of paper or a swab," said Anselme.

So far Be the Match has collected 280 samples for Team Jake.

"It's not just me, there are so many other people that need a bone marrow transplant to live," said Jake.

If you would like to help Team Jake, you can sign up here.