Bradley Cooper won over a nation with his dynamic performance in Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, and now he is trying to use his star power to help a young man battling cancer.
Anthony Michaels, 24, was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011.
Michaels has beat the cancer into remission three times but was told recently that it has returned, and doctors say he needs a bone marrow transplant.
His latest round of chemotherapy was unsuccessful, and he is now undergoing radiation to shrink a tumor on his spine.
“I’m in a lot of pain but it could be worse,” Michaels told People. “I just think if my situation can somehow help others who feel as badly as I do, then that’s a constant motivation to keep going.”
Anthony has also learned that a transplant may be his greatest hope for survival.
Cooper, who first heard of Michaels’ story through Delete Blood Cancer DKMS, now says he feels compelled to find a donor for the young man and has stepped to the forefront to help him raise awareness.
“Anthony just has the gift of positivity and gratitude,” Cooper told People. “He understands the importance of life that we tend to forget on a daily basis. But I have the feeling he was like that his whole life not just when he was plagued by this horrible disease.”
“Anthony hasn’t found someone who he’s compatible with yet and it’s such a simple test,” he continued.
Cooper’s own father suffered from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and died from lung cancer four years ago, which is another reason he is so moved by Anthony’s story.
“I think when it’s not personal and you can’t relate to it, you tend to not take action. But I dare anybody to read Anthony’s story and not care about him right away,” he said. “Anthony just has a genuine love of every moment that he’s alive and I find that to be very compelling… And especially heartbreaking because he’s afflicted with essentially a terminal disease.”
Michaels said he was first taken back by Cooper’s eagerness to help him, but was deeply impressed.
“He was a real humble guy and he was very easy to talk to,” he said. “I didn’t think he was going to be as selfless as he was so it was a nice surprise to say the least.”
For information on how to donate, or to read more about Anthony’s story, click here.