Metro Detroit family learns father is bone marrow match for both sons fighting sickle cell disease

‘I can finally get rid of this sickle cell. I’ve been dealing with it for so long,’ says Justin Walker

Family learns dad is bone marrow match for both sons fighting sickle cell.
Family learns dad is bone marrow match for both sons fighting sickle cell.

BELLEVILLE, Mich. – A Metro Detroit family going through a tough time has hope thanks to a long shot that came through.

Justin Walker and his young brother Jackson have been in need of a bone marrow donor. Jackson had surgery after finding a match, and now Justin is waiting for his.

The family did not have to look far as their donor is the same person.

Related: Metro Detroit family celebrates end of 11-year-old’s battle with sickle cell disease

“I‘m feeling pretty good,” said Justin.

A man of little words, but the 18-year-old has been through a lot. He was born with the sickle cell trait and fighting it.

“Actually, I was talking to my mom a couple of days ago. Before last year, I never thought that I would get rid of sickle cell. I thought I would just have it forever,” he said.

Both Justin and Jackson were on the bone marrow transplant list. Jackson had his surgery because his father was a match.

Justin will now have his turn as his father is a match for him also.

“I can finally get rid of this sickle cell. I’ve been dealing with it for so long. It’s exciting to get it done,” he said.

“It’s been exciting. It’s been tiring. It’s been hard and wonderful. So excited for them to be done with sickle cell and not have the health issues that they have and excited for their lives to flourish,” said their mother Esther Walker.

Justin recently graduated high school and will be going to college to major in mechanical engineering. His surgery is Aug. 13.  

A GoFundMe account has been set up for the family to help with medical bills. Click here to view the GoFundMe page.


About the Author:

Larry Spruill Jr. joined the Local 4 News team in January 2018. Prior, he worked at WJAX in Jacksonville, Florida. Larry grew up as a military kid because his father is a retired Chief of the United States Air Force.