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Valley firefighter helps save 6-year-old German boy

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Chandler Fire Cpt. Keith Welch Chandler Fire Cpt. Keith Welch
Welch's son, Jack Welch's son, Jack
Welch in the hospital after donating his bone marrow. Welch in the hospital after donating his bone marrow.
CHANDLER, AZ (CBS5) -

A Chandler firefighter is helping save the life of a young boy thousands of miles from Arizona. Captain Keith Welch traveled to Tucson to donate his bone marrow after he was identified as an identical match for the young patient who is suffering from leukemia.

"I was contacted a few weeks ago by Be the Match, which I signed up for four years ago for a friend of ours that came down with Leukemia," explained Welch.

Be The Match pairs possible donors with those needing blood or bone marrow transfusions.

"It really hit home for me about the importance of this. Where can I sign up? How fast can I get there? What do I need?" said Welch, recalling his reaction to getting the call.

What makes Welch's donation even more poignant is the fact that he has a 5-year-old son, Jack, who began battling Leukemia a little over one year ago.

"(Jack) is currently in treatment right now and is responding well," explained Welch. 

(There is) the potential for him - if we go down a different path - to have a bone marrow transplant," continued Welch. 

With his son's condition improving, Welch says he hopes his donation helps the young 6-year-old thousands of miles away.

"A lot of the little things that we really take for granted in life are really the most important things, and if I can give that guy the opportunity to do that, then that's what life is about," said Welch.

"I do believe in karma. Hopefully these good works, you'll get some good in return," he continued.

Welch was not given any other information about the young boy who is receiving the marrow donation. After one year, if the treatment is successful, there could be the opportunity for the two to meet.

For more information on Be The Match, or on the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, click here or here.

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