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A perfect match

As the old adage goes, blood is thicker than water and its sentiment has proven true for Dr. Lee Woodall and his brother Bob. Lee Woodall is a well-known family physician in Barnesville. Bob Woodall and his wife, Susan, now live in Avondale Estates after raising grass-fed beef for 17 years on a family Centennial farm near Sparta, Ga. In July of last year, Bob was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of leukemia, Blastic Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Neoplasm. After a poor response to standard treatments at Emory, Bob was referred to the Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, N.C. where he started a six-week immune therapy clinical trial and began preparations for a stem cell transplant. Emory would only perform the stem cell transplant from a donor who was Bob’s perfect match. As fate would have it, Dr. Woodall learned in August he was his brother’s perfect match. Dr. Woodall said the odds of siblings being a perfect match are 1 in 10. ‘Thanks to my parents and God’s amazing grace, I am a perfect match (10-out-of-10 markers),’ he said. After discovering Lee was a match, Bob was referred to another clinical trial, this time in California. The trial did not prove fruitful and Bob was sent back to Emory. For the next few months, Bob underwent chemotherapy until all evidence of cancer was removed. Dr. Woodall underwent the regimen to boost his blood and on Jan. 12 he donated his stem cells to Bob who was discharged from the hospital two weeks later. He is currently hospitalized with unexplained nerve damage to his spine. Now the Woodalls are asking for your help. In honor of the Woodall brothers, Barnesville Rotary, Women’s League and the American Red Cross are hosting a blood drive on Thursday, March 22 from 1-6 p.m. in the fellowship hall of the Barnesville First United Methodist Church, 375 Thomaston St., Barnesville. To make an appointment, visit and use sponsor code: lamar. You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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