Kara Lete is glad to be home from the hospital, back to Fort Meade with her family. She's been through a lot and it's been a rollercoaster ride for her.
She had long chestnut-colored hair and was 18-years-old when they found the tumor this Spring.
"I get migraines, but this one was lasting for weeks on end and I couldn't get rid of it," she says. "And then I lost feeling on the left side of my face."
Kara has NK/T-cell lymphoma. It's rare and now, after undergoing chemo and radiation, she needs a bone marrow transplant.
But no family members match.
Her mother Rosie Thomas and stepfather Nathan both did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. They knew the enemy there but this one, they say, is tougher.
They're waging this battle with a plea for people to join the donor registry -- a simple swab test on the cheeks.
Kara, who's chronicled her journey on Facebook, will have to have her own stem cells harvested if a match isn't found within the next 2 weeks. But that's riskier, and less apt to prevent the cancer from coming back.
She wants to someday be a veterinarian, maybe, or do mission work or help sick children. But most of all, she wants a fighting chance.
"You can be a super hero just by getting swabbed," she says. "Even if it's not a match for me, there's still somebody out there that can be saved from this."BONE MARROW DRIVE FOR KARA THOMAS
When: Sat., Oct. 8 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church Mission Center11711 East Market PlaceFulton, MD 20759