Cook County Sheriff's Sergeant: Bone marrow push saves life - FOX 13 News

Cook County Sheriff's Sergeant: Bone marrow push saves life

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Encarnacion Roldan Jr. Encarnacion Roldan Jr.
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Six months after cancer took the life of a Cook County Sheriff's Sergeant, his push to get people on the bone marrow registry has saved a life.

A fellow officer turned out to be a match for someone.

"He was so good. He was a good guy," Rosie Villalobos said of her late brother.

Cook County Sheriff's Sergeant Encarnacion Roldan Jr., or ‘Junior' as his friends called him, was a larger than life kind of guy.

"He was a big hearted person and he was a big person…compared to me," Villalobos laughed.

Roldan was diagnosed with Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma. The Cook County Sheriff's department arranged for a bone marrow registry drive last fall to see if they could find a match.

Unfortunately, Sgt. Roldan lost his fight in September before finding a match.

Cook County Corrections Officer Conor Ryan was one of the many people inspired to sign up that day.

"The sheriff's department, we're really, kind of like a family. We're not co-workers," Officer Ryan said.

A few months later, Ryan got the call. He was someone's stem cell match.

"The person I gave stem cells to survived and he was just discharged from the hospital, so it was great news," he said. "A great feeling."

Sgt. Roldan's family was thrilled to find out a life was saved because of the drive. Villalobos spoke of her brother, "he fought hard and he kept saying, I know he said it to you, 'if not for me, if not for me, for somebody else.'"

Villalobos still has hopes for the work her brother did.

"One more life saved under that group of people that signed up and swabbed, one more," she said. "And one more after that."

Sergeant Roldan's family said they would love to see the Sheriff's department continue on with the bone marrow drive this year. Villalobos expressed that more minorities are needed on the bone marrow registry. They want to see as many lives saved as possible.

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