Saving Brian Collister: Taking action to save a life

Posted at 10:04 PM, Apr 13, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-14 20:36:28-04

A community in Chesapeake is taking action to help save a life.But finding what they need is like locating a needle in a haystack.

A mom and her son are looking for a match; finding one would lead to that medical miracle they`ve been praying for.

There's nothing quite like a mom beaming with pride talking about one of her kids.

“He's very outgoing. He's the kind of kid who doesn't sit still for two minutes, always had been,” says Terry Cook, Brian’s mother.

Brian's reality today includes repeated hospital stays at CHKD fighting Crohn's Disease and a rare form of cancer.

“Brian was diagnosed with Hepatosplenic Gamma-Delta T-cell lymphoma, which is a very rare form of lymphoma. It’s very aggressive; it’s very serious,” says Cook.

Just months ago, Brian was an active, independent college student at ODU on his own for the first time in his life. He enjoyed catching the waves on his surf board and hanging out with his college sweetheart Ashley.

His is a life interrupted.

“These hospital visits suck. I have to just lie around. I always like to be doing something,” says Brian.

No worries. Chris’ mom is doing something. The yellow band on Terry's wrist represents just part of the battle she has launched.

Terry is also fighting to maintain her own health. She has MS.

Seeing that neighborhood businesses from the vet to the corner store posted her flyers in their windows. The signs promote the bone marrow drive at Grassfield High that will hopefully put Brian closer to a cure.

Taking the test is simple. It takes a few short seconds with a cotton swab.

"It's really easy. You just get a mouth swab and you can decide from there whether you want to donate or not.”

Brian's mom launched a website called Help Save Brian Collister. She's getting the word out because the clock is ticking.

The transplant needs to be done quickly while he is in remission. Matching with a bone marrow donor is his ticket to survival.

“It will take care of this disease. He will be disease-free after a bone marrow transplant,” says Cook.

If you would like to help, click here to visit their website.