Local teen battling rare disease to get transplant from brother

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — About a year ago a Kenmore West high school student was diagnosed with a bone marrow failure disorder that could progress into leukemia..

Conner Vollmer is a 16-year-old, an outdoorsy kid who enjoys hunting and riding his ATV, but he’s battling a rare blood disease called myelodysplastic syndrome. It’s a group of diseases that affects normal blood cell production in the bone marrow.

“It’s a really rare disease, it’s like very rare that it happened, but there’s a cure for it,” said Vollmer.

The only known cure is a bone marrow transplant. Before the transplant, Connor will have to undergo high-dose chemotherapy to kill the cells in the bone marrow.

He didn’t have to go very far to meet his match, he’ll receive his bone marrow transplant from his 13-year-old brother, Nolan.

“I think he’s a huge role model and super brave for being a 13 year old willing to take this on without second guessing the situation,” said Tracy Caruana, family member.

Both Conner and Nolan will head to the Cleveland Clinic in July for the transplant .Conner will have to recover for at least 100 days at the hospital and his mother said it could take a whole year for a full recovery.

In the meantime, the family is hosting a benefit to raise money for medical expenses. The family said the community has already shown an outpouring of support.

The benefit will be held Sunday, June 12 from Noon to 5 pm at the Brighton Arena.

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