LANCASTER, N.Y. (WKBW) — Life was all about building Legos, going to school and playing with his siblings for Anthony Gass, 9, of Lancaster. Then in May, his mother noticed something was off.
"They’re boys, they wrestle around and he would get bruises. And then they stopped wrestling around and he was still getting the bruises," said Jennifer Dryja, Anthony's mother.
So they went to the doctor for a normal check up, only to find out his bloodwork came back with really low numbers. But doctors didn’t have many answers for this family.
They knew it was bone marrow failure, but there could be so many things causing it," said Dryja.
And then on June 21, Anthony was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, something they'd never heard of. Aplastic anemia is a rare disease that occurs mostly in children and young adults where the bone marrow stops producing cells your body needs, according to Roswell Park.
It's something Anthony showed no symptoms of before this year, according to his mother.
"Our lives completely changed, completely, in a matter of a few days, it just completely changed," said Dryja.
And now he needs a bone marrow transplant as soon as possible. There are one or two potential donors, none of his family members were a match.
Dryja and Anthony's father Vincent Gass are sticking by his side through this, but concerns grow as this journey continues.
“I mean we’re going to be living at the hospital. There’s only so much paid time off, but his father and I are going to be there for him," said Dryja.
Family members set up a GoFundMe page to support Anthony and his family, as recovery could last up to a year and they have two other children to care for. But through it all, Anthony is still the comedian of the family.
"He is always cracking jokes, making everybody laugh. It’s amazing, that he’s just dealing with all of this because it is a lot for him," said Dryja.
Anthony’s got a big group of supporters called Anthony’s Avengers coming together to help him, click here to follow along.