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They came out in record numbers to help one young man in the fight of his life, all to get swabbed for Tom Pethtel.

"The first thing I thought when I saw that was, 'wow, it would be great to be a match,'" says Jeff Buck, of Vienna.

The valley helped one of their own.

Pethtel says it was great to see old family, friends and classmates.

“And really see their spirit and hope that they have to possibly be the match for me or somebody else.”

Record numbers got swabbed just because.

"This is great; I think it shows how much our community cares,” says Cortney Beymer, licensed social worker at the Strecker Cancer Center in Belpre.

They came seeking knowledge and gain understanding.

"A lot of people are really interested to learn more about this, to see what they can do to help,” Pethtel says. “I think there's actually a little competition, everybody wants to be the match and it's a big competition to see who's gonna win."

What they did today could mean a life-saving difference tomorrow.

"This is a chance to really get involved and save a life. If you're not a match for Tom, you're gonna be in the national registry until you're 55 years old, so you could be a match for someone else,” Beymer says.

A selfless act from one young guy to another.

"I would really love to help him or anybody out who would need it 'cause I know if I were in the same situation I would like that help,” Buck says. “To be able to give back -- you know; it always feels good."

If you couldn't make it to the Swab-a-Thon and would still like to help, head to the Strecker Cancer Center in Marietta or Belpre.

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