Archive | February 11, 2020

Scarlet’s Liver Transplant

For years, we’ve been sharing the story of Scarlet Kasperbauer of Chapin, who was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer in 2014 at the age of 29. The cancer had spread to Scarlet’s liver. Late last fall, Scarlet received a liver transplant from a donor who was an unexpected match – a Lexington County firefighter. In this WIS-TV Health U story, Dawndy Mercer-Plank shares this story of kindness, grace and a new chance at life.

Scarlet has been receiving treatment with Dr. Steven Madden of Lexington Oncology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, for six years. She’s now 35 years old.

Over time, Dr. Madden and his team used different treatments to keep the cancer under control. But over time, the treatments were not working as well, and were wearing her body down. She needed a more radical approach.

So she put out a plea on social media for a new liver — seeking a donor who knew how to sacrifice to save others. She never imagined who that would end up being.

Chastain Cannon is a firefighter at Station 20 in Ballentine. He works with two of Scarlet’s brothers there. Chastain said he felt called to see if he could help Scarlet. Testing revealed his liver was a perfect match for her.

After a long screening and a lot of preparation, the two families raveled to the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York and Chastain gave 70 percent of his liver to Scarlet. Both are doing well.

And the surgery is making history. Scarlet is only the fourth patient in the United States to successfully receive a liver from a living donor for cancer that started in the colon, and only the second on the East Coast.

Chastain is under doctors’ orders not to work for six months. But his fellow firemen are working his shifts and allowing him to get the salary.

It’s saving Scarlet’s life.