Anthony Daniels is 23 years old, yet he’s battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma – a cancer of the lymphatic system -- for the fourth time.
“Each time I beat cancer, it puts more of a toll on my body,” he said. “And every single time it comes back, it gets worse.”
A boxing enthusiast, Daniels knows he needs to keep fighting the disease. He has been looking for a bone marrow donor for a year and a half.
“I was approached by Delete Blood Cancer and they said you know, ‘There’s a guy, he’s a young man at Fordham University dealing with blood cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, at this stage, and is there anything that you can do, maybe take a video or do a photograph,'” Cooper recalled. “I said, ‘Well can I meet? Let’s meet and talk.’”
“We met and sat down and I met his brother too and he’s just an incredible guy and what he’s gone through,” said Cooper, whose own dad had non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and died of lung cancer four years ago. “I was incredibly ignorant about the process, the fact that he could have a 50 percent chance of survival if he just finds a donor.”
Daniels has two brothers who he thought would be a match for him but discovered through testing that his siblings are perfect matches for each other, but not for Daniels.
“I really didn’t know the process and how easy it was but also how desperate people like myself need them because without it we’re not going to survive,” Daniels said of bone marrow donations.
During their "GMA" appearance, Daniels demonstrated how to use a bone marrow donor swab kit and Cooper, 40, swabbed his own cheeks. People who are interested in donating marrow can register online for a swab kit. They’ll swab the inside of their cheeks on each side and return the kit for testing in order to be considered for the bone marrow registry.
Donors are supposed to swap for 20 seconds on each side of their cheeks but Cooper cut down the time for live TV.
“It's not exciting TV,” the "American Sniper" star joked.
Turning serious, Cooper said he wants to make sure that Daniels "keeps going."
"You just look at him, the guy is sort of magical," Cooper said. "We got along right away. I just think about, you know, what someone goes through normally in their life and what he has to deal with on a daily basis and the little bit that I know about it and to have this sort of demeanor and this energy and this love of life is intoxicating and I want to make sure that he keeps going."
Daniels called the process of meeting Cooper and being interviewed alongside the actor on “GMA,” “like a dream.”
“I’m so taken back by everything,” he said. “I’m so to lucky to honestly have the opportunity to just meet him let alone to be here with you and him at the same time and talk about what I’m going through and what thousands of other people are going through.”
Click HERE to learn more from BeTheMatch.org about blood cancers and bone marrow donation.