1-Year-Old Girl Has Two Weeks to Find Bone Marrow Donor, Testing Underway in Spring Hill
UPDATE: 4/18/2017, 6:29 P.M. – Time is running out for 1-year-old Emilie Meza to find a perfect match for a life-saving bone marrow transplant but organizers have not given up on the search.
A few weeks ago Christy Scott and Danielle DeMatteo organized a testing drive at a local Dunkin Donuts and hundreds turns out to see if they could be a possible match.
So far Emilie’s “10/10” match has not been found but according to Be The Match organizer Marc Silver, Emilie’s father can donate his marrow, in what is called a Haplo Transplant – meaning that he has half the required strains to help his daughter survive.
Silver says there are over 14,000 patients waiting for a donor nationwide. At All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, where Emilie is hospitalized, there is an 8-month old girl and 7-year-old boy who are also in need of an urgent transplant.
This Saturday, April, 22, organizers will hold another drive at Mid Florida Community Services located at 711 Benton Ave in Brooksville. The event will be held between 9 and 12 p.m.
Contact Erin Daly at 917-301-0299 or Janine Hammett at 352-422-2000 for more details.
Marc Silver can be reached at 727-348-5060 and he says you can join Be The Match by following this link: www.join.bethematch.org/fl
SPRING HILL – People from all over the Tampa Bay area are scrambling to various testing locations, hoping to be a perfect match to save a little girl who may not survive another two weeks without a bone marrow transplant.
1-year-old Emilie Meza of Bradenton was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia just three months ago and is currently hospitalized at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, hoping a match will be found to donate life-saving bone marrow before time runs out.
When best friends and neighbors, Christy Scott and Danielle DeMatteo of Spring Hill found out about Emilie’s desperate search, they decided to do something about it.
The pair met with a Mark Silver, a representative of Be the Match (bethematch.org) and quickly learned how to organize a bone marrow drive in Spring Hill.
Scott explains, “There are over 28 million donors currently on the list and 14,000 nationwide still waiting the find the perfect match.” Scott says “I have 4 children and Danielle has 3. We would hope someone would do this for our children.”
Jessica and Jason Hurd decided they would take the test after seeing the event posted on social media. Jessica says, “I have two little girls and it just touched me.” Jason says “If I can’t be a match for Emilie, maybe I will be for someone in the future.”
As a last resort, Emilie’s father can donate his bone marrow but since he only scores a 5 out of 10 points on the donor scale, it will only buy his daughter a few more years. Doing multiple procedures is extremely dangerous, which is why the family is hopeful that a perfect match will be found within the next two weeks.
Tonight the pair say they’ve already received nearly a hundred test kits in just two hours. The event is scheduled to resume tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. and they are urging everyone who qualifies to come down and take the test.
The event is taking place at the Dunkin Donuts located at Mariner Blvd and Spring Hill Drive, in Spring Hill. Donors must be between the ages of 18-44 and cannot be insulin dependent.
Follow this link for more details on BetheMatch.org.
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UPDATED TESTING LOCATION: