Bone marrow donation drive held for Superior Court Judge Carl Fox

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- ABC11 Together is hoping you can make a life-saving difference with a simple swab of the mouth.

Most are used to seeing Orange and Chatham County Superior court Judge Carl Fox in his black robe handing down justice from the bench. However, this April, Fox was handed a sentence of another sort. He was diagnosed with blood cancer. Fox needs a bone marrow transplant.

Untrue rumors about the judge's health quickly spread. So, Fox made a decision.

"I decided I was just going to let it all hang out, tell people what was wrong with me, what's going on with me on a regular basis, and what I'm going through," Fox said.

He's now on a twice-a-week regiment of platelet and blood transfusions, plus chemotherapy once a month.

The community that the judge has served for so long arrived by the dozens Tuesday night at a Chapel Hill coffee shop to find the bone marrow donor Fox so desperately needs.

"When I saw how many cars were in the parking lot, I thought my God what's going on in there? And I walked in and I thought this is just amazing," Fox said.

"He is absolutely the nicest person you will ever meet," Chris Ehrenfeld said.

Ehrenfeld co-owns Bean and Barrel, the coffee shop hosting what they're calling, the "Save the Fox" bone marrow donor drive.

They kept a tally of the donors who registered. Potential donor after potential donor swabbed their cheeks for DNA.

For Ehrenfeld, it's a chance to save his friend, or maybe one of the other 14,000 people in the country who need a transplant.

"[Fox] would love to find a match. And there's currently not a match in the database for him, but he's been such a strong advocate of 'don't do it just for me; do it for everybody else,'" Ehrenfeld said.

ABC11 asked the judge what if Tuesday's donor drive provides a match, but not for him.

"It would be fantastic," said Fox. "We don't have many opportunities in real life to save someone's life. And it would be fantastic to have someone here or the other drives save someone's life."

Meantime, Judge Fox continues to work. He's at the courthouse most days. He says doing what he loves helps keep his mind off his cancer.

Another "Save the Fox" donor drive is scheduled for Friday, July 17 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, July 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at University Mall in Chapel Hill.

Go to learn more about the Delete Blood Cancer program.

July is National African-American Bone Marrow Awareness Month.

You can also be a marrow donor through the Be the Match program. Click here for more information on Be the Match.

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