• KYW News 4:30-7am
    04:00 AM - 07:00 AM

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The owner of one of Philadelphia’s go-to Cheese Steak or Pork sandwich shops – John’s Roast Pork  on Snyder Avenue – is holding a Bone Marrow Donor Registry Drive on Saturday. He’s celebrating the 5th anniversary of his successful marrow transplant.

John Bucci, the 47-year old third generation owner of the South Philadelphia shop, is back behind the grill, now that he’s survived a battle with leukemia:

“Under the guidelines of the donor bank that I had, I’ll never get to meet the donor. So I have no way of ever thanking this guy who saved my life.”

Back in 2008, before the transplant, he was dangerously sick. Now doing well, he’s trying to create awareness that a simple swab of your cheek could make a difference.

“If they knew, they would donate. God, you could save a life.”

He says while medical advances are astonishing, any success requires more potential marrow donors.

“It’s like a mechanic working without the right tools. they have the technology, and they know how to cure a lot of these cancers, but without the donors, there’s nothing they can do. there’s no hope.”

The goal on Saturday between 10 and 3 at John’s Roast Pork is to register 500-donors.

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