HAVELOCK, Craven County - A little boy in Havelock is battling sickle cell anemia and is in need of a bone marrow donor. With a simple swab of your cheek, you could possibly help.
Thor Forte is a young man who has his eyes on soaring through the skies one day. But what you can't see is he is battling sickle cell anemia, a blood disease that has limited him from birth.
"There's times when he gets lethargic from over-exerting himself, so he has to have plenty of rest, he has to hydrate often more than average kids," said his father, Rodney.
In 2014, when Thor was 3, his parents were notified if their son didn't receive help, he could possibly have seizures.
"Thor started chronic transfusion therapy," his mother, Tameka said. "It started out he needed a blood transfusion every four weeks and by the 12th, he ran into iron overload."
That forced the couple to put Thor on medications to flush the iron out. But the various medications were causing him more health issues.
We were just at the point where we needed to find a bone marrow donor and that's where we got to the point we are today," Tameka Forte said.
And that point is partnering up with the New Bern Rotary club to help find a match for Thor. The club will have a booth at Mumfest this weekend where people can swab their mouth and possibly make a difference in Thor or someone else's life.
The family said Thor had a matching donor before but that person backed out at the last minute. Now, the family wants to make sure those who sign up are in it for the right reasons.
"I will not want you to join for Thor and you become a perfect match for another patient and you turn that family down," Tameka Forte said.
The family also encourages miniroties to become donors as there is a shortage. You can click here to learn more about how to be a match.