CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When Charlie Ferrell first met Mailyn Chandler, he made her a promise.
"She stole my heart," Ferrell said of the 8-year-old girl from Louisa, Ky.
Mailyn has suffered from leukemia since 2008. She needs a bone marrow transplant.
"I made her a promise that I would not quit trying to help her find a match and I can't break that promise no matter what," Ferrell said. "If I had to get out and crawl I would, 'cause I'll never break that promise to her."
So far, in the seven or eight tissue-donor drives that Ferrell has organized for Mailyn, more than 2,000 people have been tested.
This evening, he hopes more potential donors will be tested in her honor. Ferrell is organizing a tissue drive Thursday afternoon from 4 to 7:30 p.m. in the Charleston Civic Center.
Potential donors who attend the driver will have the inside of their cheeks swabbed. While the drive is in Mailyn's honor, potential donors can be matched with any patient awaiting transplant.
Anyone between the ages of 18 and 44 who is in generally good health can register to be a donor, said Betsie Letterle, an account executive at Be the Match, the national marrow donor program.