The Main Stream

Jun 3, 2012 7:17 PM

Bone marrow drive gives family hope for daughter

TUCSON - A bone marrow drive could help save the life of a Tucson teen battling a rare blood disorder.

19-year-old Delia Gonzalez is battling aplastic anemia. A bone marrow transplant is her last hope to survive.

Her inspirational story has reached many people.

In just one hour, about 50 people registered with the National Marrow Donor Program at Reid Park Sunday to hopefully be a match and others registered at Most Holy Trinity Church.

With the swab of a cheek and a little paperwork, hundreds of people joined a registry that could help find Delia Gonzalez a bone marrow match.

"Everything that you can do to help somebody else to help save their life is a good thing," said Laura Gatlin who joined the registry.

Even 13-year-old Crystal and her 16-year-old brother Sean Gillette joined in on the efforts.

"I tell people how to swab their cheeks and give cell samples, so that they can determine whether they're a match," said Crystal.

Crystal and her brother wanted to join the registry, but the National Marrow Donor Program Registry guidelines require donors to be at least 18 years old, so instead, they volunteered at the drive.

"I just wanted to help out," said Crystal's brother Sean.

This drive was organized to help find a donor for Delia who suffers from a rare blood disorder.

"She's at the end of the line. Without the bone marrow, she won't survive," said Miguel Gonzalez, Delia's dad.

According to the National Marrow Donor Program, patients are most likely to match someone of their own race within the registry, and only four percent of those registered are of mixed race like Delia.

Several people of Delia's ethnicity came to the drive in hopes of being a match.

Even a 17-year-old who unfortunately because of his age, was not allowed to join the registry.

He's looking into getting privately tested because he's so passionate about helping Delia.

Those who registered at the drive will be placed in the national registry to see if they are a match for anyone from anywhere in the nation who may need a bone marrow transplant.

For more information on how you can become a donor, head to this website:

http://join.marrow.org/delia

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