Family seeks life-saving match for loved one.
Helping a neighbor could be just a swab away.
The family of local resident and leukemia patient Teresa Ramos is seeking a bone marrow donor to help with a life-saving treatment. In cooperation with DKMS Americas, the world's largest bone marrow donation organization, they are organizing a bone marrow donor drive at Grace Baptist Church. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 24, participants will have their cheeks swabbed to test their tissues for possible matches.
A mother of nine and grandmother of 13, the 65-year-old Ramos has yet to meet her newborn great-grandchild.
"Because she cannot leave and the baby isn't allowed to visit, my mom still hasn't met the newest addition to our family, said Teresa Perez, Ramo's daughter. "We would do anything to make her healthy again, but we cannot do it without you. Please come to the DKMS donor drive and register as a bone marrow donor. You could be the life-saving match, not only for my mother, but for any patient in need."
A perfect bone marrow match is extremely hard to come by and while anyone could be the right donor, odds are better among those with similar ethnic backgrounds. Currently, Hispanics make up only 10 percent of the donor registry.
Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells which originates in the bone marrow. Ramos suffers from Acute Myeloid Leukemia, which afflicts white blood cells called myelocytes. Only 3 out of 10 leukemia patients receive transplants.
Potential donors must be between 18 and 55 and in good general health. Registrants with DKMS will also be listed on the national Be The Match Registry and can be found as a donor match for any patient in need of a bone marrow transplant. DKMS has registered more than 2 million potential donors. More than 18,000 DKMS donors have helped save lives by donating their bone marrow. Monetary donations will also be accepted to help cover the $65 registration cost.