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Growing Up After Cancer: The Search For A Bone Marrow Match

Christina Ulsh
Jude Cobler is a student at All Saints Catholic School in Far North Dallas.

For all the breakthroughs in cancer care over the last few decades, sometimes the best treatment just doesn’t work. That’s what happened to 6-year-old Jude Cobler of Plano. 

Jude was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Each year, about 2,500 kids are diagnosed with this type of leukemia.

When Jude's chemotherapy didn’t work, his odds of survival dropped drastically. 

“They told us it’s … more like a 20 percent survival rate as opposed to the 80 percent,” said Jude’s dad, Keith. “We didn’t feel very good about that.”

Jude would need a bone marrow transplant. But as a multiracial child -- his mom is from the Philippines, his dad is Caucasian -- chances of finding a match were slim. 

Jude is the subject of a new KERA Breakthroughs series called Growing Up After Cancer.

For the next few weeks, we'll take you through Jude's journey -- from his cancer diagnosis and to his recovery. 

Explore KERA's digital project here -- there are stories and radio pieces, as well as videos and photos of the Cobler family. And there are preview videos of Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, a documentary that will air on KERA-TV starting March 30. 

Lauren Silverman was the Health, Science & Technology reporter/blogger at KERA News. She was also the primary backup host for KERA’s Think and the statewide newsmagazine  Texas Standard. In 2016, Lauren was recognized as Texas Health Journalist of the Year by the Texas Medical Association. She was part of the Peabody Award-winning team that covered Ebola for NPR in 2014. She also hosted "Surviving Ebola," a special that won Best Long Documentary honors from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). And she's won a number of regional awards, including an honorable mention for Edward R. Murrow award (for her project “The Broken Hip”), as well as the Texas Veterans Commission’s Excellence in Media Awards in the radio category.