ANNA MARIA ISLAND, Fla. -- A 26-year-old Manatee County man is battling leukemia for the second time in 10 years.
Matt Bauer received a bone marrow transplant on October 29, 2009. Ten years to that date, he was re-admitted to Moffitt Cancer Center.
"He lost his hair. It started falling out about a week ago. His dreads went and then he cut the rest," said his friend Michael Sabato.
Bauer shares his story on a Facebook page called, "Matty B's Journey."
He wrote, "It's hard for me to comprehend on why this is happening to me again; 10 years later. I was readmitted to Cancer Moffitt Center 10 years to the date of my first Bone Marrow Transplant, October 29, 2009."
"He just goes about life the right way. He works hard, fishes hard. Just an all around good guy. It's just a bad situation he has to go through right now," said Sabato.
His friends hosted a fishing tournament on Friday, November 22. Each angler paid $50 to participate.
Restaurants and local businesses like Duffy's Tavern Bar and Grill donated prizes and gift certificates. D Coy Ducks Bar and Grille, Galati Yacht Sales and West Coast Surf Shop on Holmes Beach also helped out.
"Tournament ends at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Everyone will come and we'll weigh all the fish and pick winners," said Sabato.
Pappo's Taqueria on Anna Maria posted on Instagram saying it opened seven years ago and Bauer was one of their biggest supporters.
The restaurant encourages people to donate to Bauer's GoFundMe page with the #LoveShared hashtag. The restaurant will match every donation with the hashtag up to $2,500.
The fishing tournament raised about $1,600. His friends hope to raise more money by selling t-shirts and stickers.
"He's a real outgoing guy. He’s very loyal to his friends. He would give you the shirt off his back," said Sabato.
Bauer hopes to be out of the hospital by the first week of December. He will need another bone marrow transplant.
He wrote on Facebook, "Yes, 113 perfect matches for my Bone Marrow Transplant; which is very insane, mainly because people have two to three matches for a Bone Marrow Transplant."
Those interested in helping Bauer can click here for more details.