Nineteen-month-old Ryan LaSource, the son of Austin and Lauren LaSource of Madison, is battling cancer for the second time in his young life and facing a bone marrow transplant. A table will be set up at the Aug. 5 Downtown Madison Farmers Market on Main Street to register potential donors for the National Bone Marrow Registry. Ryan’s aunt Amber LaSource will man the booth Tuesday from 3:30-8 p.m. to register potential donors and take simple cheek swabs to enter donors’ names into the database operated by Be the Match.
Nineteen-month-old Ryan LaSource, the son of Austin and Lauren LaSource of Madison, is battling cancer for the second time in his young life and facing a bone marrow transplant. A table will be set up at the Aug. 5 Downtown Madison Farmers Market on Main Street to register potential donors for the National Bone Marrow Registry. Ryan’s aunt Amber LaSource will man the booth Tuesday from 3:30-8 p.m. to register potential donors and take simple cheek swabs to enter donors’ names into the database operated by Be the Match.
At 19 months of age, Ryan LaSource is battling his second round of cancer.

Diagnosed in June 2013 when he was five-and-a-half months old, Ryan underwent six months of chemotherapy to combat his leukemia. In January, tests showed that Ryan, the son of Austin and Lauren LaSource of Madison was cancer free and in full remission.

But Ryan has relapsed, and his AML leukemia is back, tests in mid-July show. Now, he is facing bone marrow surgery.

To find a potential donor, Ryan's family is asking as many people as possible to register with Be the Match, a nonprofit organization that manages the world's largest bone marrow donor registry. Amber LaSource, Austin's sister and Ryan's aunt, will hold a bone marrow registry drive during the Downtown Madison Farmers Market on Tuesday. She will be on the Main Street grounds by the Red Caboose from 3:30-8 p.m.

"We will register people and test them with a cheek swab to get their information into Be the Match," said LaSource. "We want everyone ages 18 to 44 to come out and be tested. It's super easy and a quick process to register and get tested.

"We want to give everybody a chance to help," she said. "We would love for everyone to come out, get tested and have their names added to the National Bone Marrow Registry list. Their donation could save a person's life, much like my nephew Ryan.'

Ryan went into Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital this week for five days of chemotherapy. "As soon as they have a match, they want to have the surgery," LaSource said.

"We want people to understand that there is no legal obligation" to serve as a donor, she said. Be the Match has a database of 11 million potential donors. One in 500 members of the registry goes on to donate.

LaSource said she will have information about the registry and the donor process available at the Farmers Market.

Ryan's parents wrote on their Facebook page "Ryan's Journey-Leukemia Support Page" about the need for people to sign up as potential bone marrow donors last September. Ryan was in the middle of chemo treatments then and was not in need of a transplant at that time when they posted their request: "... it is not easy to match. It's not like blood types... It is matched on many, many different factors and the likelihood of finding a match (outside of siblings) is 1:20,000. BUT what if you were that 1 person out of 20,000 that could save someone's life!?!

"Let Ryan's face be what motivates you to register. It's as easy as a cheek swab to register! We pray Ryan will never need a bone marrow transplant, but if he did, would you be willing to donate for him? There are thousands of "Ryans" waiting... What if you are their match? Their chance at life? Please register today!"

"I'm so pleased that the LaSource family can use the Madison Farmers Market as a way to enlarge the potential pool of bone marrow donors. Hopefully, one of those registering will prove to be a match for precious Ryan. Our prayers are with the family as they seek a donor," Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler said. "I encourage everyone to come to the market to register as a donor, not just for Ryan but for others battling cancer."

LaSource said her brother and sister-in-law are leaning on their faith as they face cancer again with Ryan. "This is tough to deal with but they are strong in their faith and they know God has his hands all over this.

"Ryan has done this before and he can do it again," she said. "We're never going to give up."

Anyone interested in keeping up with Ryan and his story can visit his facebook page at facebook.com/RyanLaSource. A donation page is set up for Ryan at gofundme.com/ryanlasource.