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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:


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 ( 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

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  • There is a marrow drive this Saturday morning 4/22 9-12 in Brooksville, 711 Benton Av

    Thursday, 20 April 2017, 7:04 am
  • This is so sad! I am not eligible to donate because of multiple disqualifying medical conditions. See if you qualify by visiting the link in this comment. Spread the word so more people are aware to the necessity of donors for not only this precious angel but also many, many others! The link is

    Wednesday, 19 April 2017, 1:26 pm
  • I would like to get tested. If someone would message me and tell me what I need to do and where i need to go

    Friday, 14 April 2017, 12:17 am
  • I heard on the radio about a drive in punta gorda… when is this? I want to be tested.

    Thursday, 13 April 2017, 8:56 am
    • I would like to help organize a drive on the west side of the county for next Saturday or Sunday, the 22nd or 23rd. If that was going on, how many people would come?

      Friday, 14 April 2017, 9:03 am
  • Tom, Any updates?

    Wednesday, 12 April 2017, 6:16 am
  • I am interested…. when is there going to be another date to be tested?

    Monday, 10 April 2017, 10:54 pm
  • I requested a kit today by mail. How long does the test take to find out if I’m a match for Emilie Meza. Do I need to specify her name on the form?

    Monday, 10 April 2017, 10:30 pm
  • Any updates?

    Monday, 10 April 2017, 8:55 pm
  • Sounds like a lot of people were not aware of this drive until after it was over. Can there be another one set up?

    Monday, 10 April 2017, 10:54 am
  • Does anyone know if you can be tested living in a different state?

    Sunday, 9 April 2017, 10:07 pm
  • Put her on rso, or mj oil. It cured mu cancer and aggresive spinal cancer and leukemia to name just two. Took my gran mal seizures too.

    Sunday, 9 April 2017, 6:15 pm
    • So many are scared to try RSO. It saved my life when the drs gave me a year and a half to live. I wish the stigma was gone.

      Monday, 10 April 2017, 9:20 am
  • I just saw this, are there any more events planned? I would like to come out and get tested.

    Saturday, 8 April 2017, 9:14 pm
  • JOIN.BETHEMATCH.ORG/FL you can get a kit shipped to you in 3 days! Thank you all!

    Saturday, 8 April 2017, 8:17 pm
  • I am just seeing this post, but would love to see if I’m a match for this sweet little girl. How would I go about doing so?

    Saturday, 8 April 2017, 7:58 pm
  • My husband and I would both like to check to see if we would be able to be donors. We are located in Tennessee. how are we able to find out or help?

    Saturday, 8 April 2017, 7:19 pm
  • I’m doing an event April 15 in Polk county for more info view my Facebook

    Saturday, 8 April 2017, 5:47 pm
  • Since I am not only WAY over the age limit, I am also a diabetic, and cancer patient.
    I would gladly test to help this little angel…..My prayers are with this child and her family.

    Saturday, 8 April 2017, 4:25 pm
  • i truly wish no age limit.. i am over 20 gallons of blood donated but at 53 not eligible ..i guess.. god bless this angel.. I wld give her anything I could ..

    Saturday, 8 April 2017, 1:05 pm
  • The event is still going on. They ran out of test kits and will be at 2-4. I only know because i went up there and they have it posted on the door. I’m going too try and come back out not I’ll try to make it on Fridays drive.

    Saturday, 8 April 2017, 11:22 am
  • So it ends today? Im currently working and live an hour away… But if you do this again i would gladly test to save the sweet girl.!!

    Saturday, 8 April 2017, 11:12 am
    • I missed it too but would love to take the test..

      Saturday, 8 April 2017, 3:29 pm
    • JOIN.BETHEMATCH.ORG/FL they’ll ship you a kit in 3 days!

      Saturday, 8 April 2017, 8:16 pm
  • Is this event still going on at Dunkin’ Donuts today?

    Saturday, 8 April 2017, 10:07 am
  • nice to see rnrf cover this. keep us updated.

    Saturday, 8 April 2017, 1:54 am
  • I truly hope that this baby gets what she needs, and you women are amazing for doing what you’re doing. I truly wish I got the criteria to donate, but both my husband and I are too old. ?

    Saturday, 8 April 2017, 12:37 am
    • Y is thete an age cut off of 44? I am 50 so y does that matter?

      Saturday, 8 April 2017, 7:40 pm
      • Why a donor’s age matters

        When it comes to identifying a marrow donor, doctors weigh many factors. One factor is the age of the donor. Medical research has shown that cells from younger donors lead to better long-term survival for patients after transplant. Doctors request donors in the 18-44 age group more than 95% of the time.

        Saturday, 8 April 2017, 10:08 pm
      • Age is considered a risk factor. Also younger marrow is healthier.

        Saturday, 8 April 2017, 10:52 pm
  • Was a donor found?

    Saturday, 8 April 2017, 12:09 am
  • Christy and Danielle, you are part of what’s right in this area. Congratulations!! To all who test, bless you. Tom thanks for bringing this to the forefront. God speed a donor to this beautiful baby. I’m too old per their age restrictions or I would be there. Prayers go out for all patients awaiting their matches and for all donors.

    Saturday, 8 April 2017, 12:01 am
    • Thank you, we appreciate your kind words!

      Saturday, 8 April 2017, 8:15 pm

    Friday, 7 April 2017, 10:16 pm
  • I will be there tomorrow. I think it would be amazing if everyone would get tested to save this sweet cheeks little girl. Just imagine the feeling if you were the perfect match. If I am a match, little Emelie is going to live!!!

    Friday, 7 April 2017, 9:15 pm
    • Any other days?? Can you meet w people individually? I am interested!

      Saturday, 8 April 2017, 3:28 pm
      • I’m doing one in Polk County April 15 for details se my Facebook

        Saturday, 8 April 2017, 5:46 pm
      • I will have kits Wednesday and you can also go to JOIN.BETHEMATCH.ORG/FL and they’ll ship you one in 3 days.

        Saturday, 8 April 2017, 8:14 pm
        • Thank you. I will request the kit today.

          Sunday, 9 April 2017, 11:14 am
        • I just signed up on and it stated my test kit will be here in 2 weeks. How do I get a test kit in 3 days as 2 weeks too long to help.

          Sunday, 9 April 2017, 9:30 pm
        • I have no transportation today but am more than happy to meet up Wednesday to grab a kit somewhere here in town.

          Monday, 10 April 2017, 9:17 am
    • I want to see if i can help are there going to be anymore drives in spring hill?

      Wednesday, 12 April 2017, 3:53 pm

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