At 15, this Midlands teen is already in the fight of his life

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Fifteen-year-old Dylan Walker is about to take a running leap into the fight of his life.

In February, Dylan was getting ready for a birthday party when he passed out in the shower. He had been battling a virus, and his parents assumed the loss of consciousness was from the recent illness. To be sure, they took him to urgent care.

What looked like routine blood testing quickly turned into a nightmare.

After blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy, the diagnosis was in: Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

AML is a type of leukemia that can progress quickly and prove fatal if not treated. It starts in the bone marrow, which is the soft inner part of certain bones, where new blood cells are made. It then spreads into the blood and can invade other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, liver, and central nervous system.

Dylan has been an inpatient at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital in Columbia since his diagnosis, undergoing an aggressive chemotherapy regimen. He has not been able to leave the hospital due to the high risk of infection.

Dylan now needs a bone marrow transplant and will be going to MUSC in Charleston in a couple weeks. According to Dylan's father, Darren Walker, the transplant is a leap of faith. The surgery is not an easy one, and there are risks associated with the procedure.

But, he says, upon the surgery's success, Dylan could soon walk leukemia free, kicking the disease for good.

The community support has begun pouring in. If you'd like to help support Dylan and the Walker family, two separate funding sites have been set up.

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