But after a donor recently gave him bone marrow, the Fort Collins teenager was able to beat leukemia.
Now he's getting ready for his freshman year at CSU.
"I was cut off from the outside world. I was kept in the hospital room for a month and a half, two months," Cody said.
When Cody was diagnosed at the age of 15, his entire family got tested to see if their bone marrow would be a match for Cody.
His youngest sister, McKenna, was a match, but unfortunately, too good of one.
"Pretty much they said I was too perfect of a match, so that it didn't take, because his cells thought my cells were the same," McKenna explained.
So Cody relapsed.
But about a year ago, Cody's transplant coordinator from Presbyterian/St. Luke's had some good news.
A donor match had been found on the national bone marrow registry.
"Without anonymous people who get on the registry, often times people can't be cured," Betsy Blunk, Codys' transplant coordinator, said.
Cody spent a year wondering who that special donor was.
Then, a few weeks ago he found out it was a 40-year-old man who lives in Virginia.
"I just want to thank him," Cody said.
On Saturday morning, Cody got that chance.
Stephen Kingsley, his wife and two daughters from Virginia, got to meet Cody and his family for the first time.
"How are you, hey buddy, good to see you," Stephen said when he met Cody at Lodo's Bar and Grill in downtown Denver.
Cody said he picked that location because he had spent enough time at the hospital.
Months ago, before Stephen even knew who Cody was, he had planned a family vacation to Colorado.
The two decided to meet up in Denver.
"I just want to say thank you, you saved my life," Cody told Stephen.
Stephen gave blood at a bone marrow drive back in 1994.
He had no idea a match would come 15 years later.
"Most people don't have this kind of experience where you meet the other side," Stephen said, with a smile on his face.
"He gave my brother the gift of life," Cody's other sister, Caylee, said.
"It's not everyday you get to meet the person that saved your life," Cody said smiling.
Becoming a bone marrow donor is easier now than it used to be. To learn more about donating, and to join the registry, visit: www.marrow.org.
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