FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --California Highway Patrol officers from throughout the state are coming together to help one of their own. Officer Keith Meter has an aggressive form of bone marrow cancer and the only cure is a transplant.
The CHP departments in Fresno and Visalia held registration drives Monday for potential bone marrow donors. These are just the first of nearly two dozen that will take place all over California this week.
Monday morning dozens of people came out to the CHP department in Fresno in hopes that a stranger might be able to save the life of officer Meter. Just two years ago Meter was attempting to donate bone marrow to an eight-year-old girl in Orange County. "When I got called I started the process and I-- I found out my blood counts were low at the time. And I ignored the fact that they told me to go to the doctor because I felt fine."
When the 18-year-veteran of the Santa Ana Highway Patrol did go to the doctor he was diagnosed with a bone marrow cancer known as "MDS" and now he needs a bone marrow transplant. Fellow officers up and down the state, and here in the Central Valley, are rallying the community in the hopes of finding a donor. "The big connect is no matter where you are in the state, you are still apart of the CHP family, and so, with that, officers, dispatchers, non-uniforms personnel are participating," said Axel Reyes, California Highway Patrol.
Even members of the Fresno County Sheriff's Department came out to sign up. "The City of Hope, Be the Match" organizes the process of paperwork and a cotton swab of the cheek that only takes about 10 minutes. Donors could find in about a month if they are a match for someone who needs a transplant. "When someone is in need, a family is in need, we step up and provide-- do what we can for them," said Reyes.
Meter is a marathon runner and now he's counting on his fellow officers to help him in the race of his life. "I couldn't be more thankful. You know for all the-- you know for the help that they have given me and the awareness that they are providing, you know," said Meter.
The series of bone marrow registration drives across the state for officer Meter continues through March 18th.
Prospective donors here in the valley can register online at the "Be The Match" website here.