Metro Detroit cancer survivor organizes Rockin’ For a Match to get people on bone marrow registry

Organization has registered 600 people so far

TROY, Mich. – It’s one thing to fight a battle to save your own life, it’s another to make it your mission to save the lives of others.

Years ago Taylor Lang was diagnosed with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. She never dreamed she would be in her new home in Clarkston, with her new husband, getting healthier and stronger each year. Lang, 35, had a challenging decade.

“It’s been tough and it’s only going to get worse before it gets better,” Lang said.

Local 4 has followed Lang’s story from when she was diagnosed at 26 years old to the devastating news that she could not find a match on the bone marrow registry. She championed her own event in hopes of finding a donor.

“We didn’t find any matches for me,” Lang said.

Doctors suggested to use stem cells from donated umbilical cords.

“The umbilical cords, you don’t have to be as much of a match as you do if an adult donated to another person because those cells are still undifferentiated,” Lang said. “So they found two cords that I matched almost, almost perfectly and so I was able to use those cells to get my transplant.”

“I just celebrated eight years in remission in June, so I’m very grateful and I’m just humbled and honored to be able to pay that forward through my organization, Rockin’ For a Match, to raise awareness.”

Rockin’ For a Match works to register Metro Detroit residents through a rock 'n' roll event that Lang holds each year. This year it will be held in Troy. Lang has spent countless hours organizing and getting out the word to get people to show up and register.

“Just to join the bone marrow registry ... you fill out an eligibility form and then you get a cotton swab and you just swab the inside of your cheek for 30 seconds to a minute,” Lang said. “It means everything to me because this organization, this will be our ninth year, so and we’ve registered almost 600 people into the bone marrow registry in that time. So, that’s potentially 600 lives saved, you know, just like my own. I know my family and I were devastated when I didn’t have a match on the registry.”

Lang started her own business as a health coach, teaching clients about nutrition.

The charity concert and bone marrow drive will be held Saturday at Norm’s Field of Dreams in Troy at 6 p.m.

Click here to visit the Root-Cause Health Coaching website.

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About the Authors:

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.