HARRISBURG, Pa (WHTM) — There’s no stronger bond than the bond between family. Unfortunately, the Dominguez family learned that early on.
In 1996, Caleb, the youngest of three siblings, was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of nine which began a 12-year journey with relapses of cancer. He was also in need of a bone marrow transplant.
Caleb said “Because this time, the leukemia had come back much more aggressive and invasive throughout my central nervous system,” his older brother Josh was a perfect match and underwent weeks of preparation.
“I was completely cancer-free from that point on because of his transplants so he was born to be my match for that season in my life,” said Dominguez.
But two years ago, through a routine physical, josh found out his kidneys were operating at only 13 percent.
“it took some time to kind of grasp the situation and wrap my head around it and everything,” John said.
A year into treatment, doctors decided that Josh needed a new kidney.
“All of my family were interested in helping out but it turns out my sister was the best match”
Josh and his sister Anika underwent successful surgery on November 13, at UPMC Pinnacle in Harrisburg.
Anika said, “When my kidney went into Josh’s body, the moment the valves touched, the kidney began to function for him and actually began to do everything that a kidney is meant to do.”
The three siblings are close in age…but this brought them even closer together.
We just learned early on growing up that when it comes to family, you just do what you got to do, no questions asked,” Josh added.
Although some people aren’t as fortunate to find a quick match, they encourage others to consider getting tested to become a bone marrow or kidney donor.
“A lot of people are waiting for kidneys, the wait is long, Josh said. “The average wait is about five years for someone to get a kidney and I would just say if you’re healthy if this story resonates with you, to get tested.”