Fort Lee girl needs bone marrow donor in leukemia battle
The family of an 11-year-old battling cancer will hold a bone marrow drive in Fort Lee Saturday afternoon.
Briana Lopez, a middle school student in Fort Lee, is fighting an aggressive form of cancer called acute myeloid leukemia, and needs a bone marrow transplant along with a second round of chemotherapy according to ABC 7. She has been undergoing treatment at Hackensack University Medical Center since her diagnosis in January, according to media reports.
The Lopez family is holding the drive at the Fort Lee Recreation Center, at 1500 8th St. in Fort Lee, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
“The more people who register for the drive, the better our chances of finding a match for Briana, and also for anyone else who is currently waiting for a donor. This really could be a chance to help save someone’s life," her mother Yanine told the Daily Voice of Fort Lee.
The 11-year-old is described on a GoFundMe page as being "loving, high spirited, caring, independent" who is putting up a courageous fight.
"Be a hero Go out there and save a life. Help me. C'mon, it's really easy," Briana told ABC 7.
According to DeleteBloodCancer.org, which is publicizing the bone marrow drive, more than 14,000 patients with blood cancer need a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor each year. Unfortunately, 6 out of 10 of those people do not receive a transplant, the site says.
Joining the registry is simply. Donors fill out a form and have their cheek swabbed for 30 seconds to collect cells, which are then used to see if there are patients who match, according to DeleteBloodCancer.org.
Hispanics only represent 3 percent of people who have registered nationally as bone marrow donors, DeleteBloodCancer.org said. And patients are more likely to find a match among donors from the same ethnic background.