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Lakeville Community Rallies To Find Bone Marrow Donor For Teacher With Leukemia

LAKEVILLE (CBS) -- On Saturday, people gave blood to support Paul Couto, a beloved teacher at Freetown-Lakeville Middle School who is fighting for his life.

Couto, a 7th grade teacher, was recently diagnosed with a rare aggressive form of blood cancer called acute myeloid leukemia, or AML. The 53-year-old is now at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston fighting for his life.

All throughout the day, co-workers, former students, and Lakeville residents took part in the "Be The Match and Blood Drive."

"You get to see how much he was admired and respected by the local community for what he's done to be a teacher," said Couto's wife Jessica. "The critical need right now is we are looking for a bone marrow donor. He requires a bone marrow transfer."

Couto has been in the hospital for the past five weeks, and right now, he's in the ICU. His presence here at the middle school has been greatly missed, which is why everyone hopes he pulls through so he can come back to the job he loves and the community that needs him.

"He always like housed exchange students, and he was like a dad to everyone who went to school here," said Devan McNeill.

Organizers hope this event can raise more awareness of the importance of giving blood.

Former student Ella Cummins says she learned a lot from Couto.

"His class was the first class I really learned how to take notes, which helped me so much." she said.

It's clear the lessons Couto taught in the classroom are having a profound impact in the community.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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