It was literally a one in ten million chance when Paul Zamecnik was matched up with a stem cell donor who could finally help the 53-year-old Virginia man get a sustainable treatment for his leukemia.
But after the potential donor failed to show up for his scheduled appointment, Zamecnik has been forced to turn to Facebook in a desperate attempt to find the man who could literally save his life.
"Basically I'm a really good candidate for a transplant. The only thing I'm missing is a donor," Zamecnik told a Virginia NBC affiliate.
"I have no way of knowing who it is and where he lives," Zamecnik said. "The donor programs keep all that at an arm's length. But I sure would love to get him to change his mind.”
To that end, Zamecnik has started a Facebook page, which he hopes will eventually put him in touch with the anonymous donor – about which Zamecnik knows very little – only that he is a 25-year-old man living in the U.S.
"After all, we are only 6 degrees of separation from everyone in the world, right? “ Zamecnik writes on the page. “And what better gift is there during this holiday season than giving someone a second chance at life? Would you please help me out by reposting this?"
Though we here at the Sideshow specialize in bringing you the day’s odd news, we also like to share the occasional opportunity for Yahoo! readers to reach out and help others from time to time.
And even if you can’t help him track down his potentially life saving donor, Zamecnik encourages people to become donors themselves, by visiting the BeTheMatch.com site.
The Facebook page has already received more than 45,000 “likes” since first going live on Friday morning. Hundreds of readers have posted comments of support and have pledged their effort to help Zamecnik find his potential donor.
Diagnosed at age 45, Zamecnik has received three different types of chemotherapy treatment over the past eight years, but says the treatments are becoming less effective and are expected to eventually not help at all.
"It's a bit of a long shot, but I've really got nothing to lose," he told NBC.