County USC holds bone marrow drive
The Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center held a massive bone-marrow drive Tuesday to help find a match for a 6-year-old cancer patient badly in need of a transplant, but was still unable to find a donor.
About 700 people showed up to the bone-marrow drive for young Eduardo Morales-Pena, who has battled acute lymphoblastic leukemia since he was a 2-year-old.
“He actually looks really good when you look at him right now. He’s very active, he looks terrific, but his disease is still there,” Dr. Jeff Johnson of LAC-USC Medical Center told KABC7.
Doctors said Eduardo needed a bone-marrow transplant after taking a turn for the worst when his chemotherapy treatments stopped working. according to KCAL2.
Currently, there are no matches in the national donor registry for Eduardo.
“Eduardo is in the fight of his life,” Supervisor Gloria Molina said in a statement. “He desperately needs a bone marrow transplant.‚ÄĚ
Bone-marrow matches are more likely to be found from someone of the same race. Doctors said the search for Morales-Pena‚Äôs match is harder because there are very few Hispanic donors in the registry.
Officials said they hoped the drive would attract Latinos to come test to see if they were a match.
‚ÄúAll it takes is a simple mouth swab ‚ÄĒ no needle ‚ÄĒ to determine whether someone is a match or not,‚ÄĚ Molina said.
None of Eduardo‚Äôs family members are a match, so his only chance of survival is finding an outside donor.
The hospital hopes to find a donor soon for Eduardo, who loves music and dancing. He is a big fan of Michael Jackson, and his favorite song is ‚ÄúThriller.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúI hope that God doesn’t take him from me,‚ÄĚ¬† Ausencia Pe√Īa, Eduardo‚Äôs mother, told the Whittier Daily News.