LOS FRESNOS — Los Fresnos teachers are hoping to be the match for one of their sick students, but if not for him, for maybe another person out there suffering from a blood cancer.
He's five years old, his name is Nolan and he is in need of someone to match his same gene type in order to donate bone marrow to him.
Teachers in Los Fresnos CISD are getting the chance to make a difference outside of the classroom, for one of their very own. Nolan would normally attend Dora Romero Elementary School if not for his battle with a pre-lukemia condition.
The school district along with "Be the Match", a national marrow donor program, are trying to raise awareness and recruit teachers to swab.
The Marrow Consultant, Melissa Elizondo stresses the importance of committing to the decision if you are in fact a match.
“In Nolan’s case, we did have an 18 year old that was a match and he decided not to do it. So it's one of those things that you know, that we want you to know if it's something you are going to sign up for, that you will continue with the process," says Elizondo.
A number of teachers at Lopez-Riggins and other LFCISD schools have now made that commitment.
"i think if we have that opportunity to help someone, growing up you've been taught "treat others as you want to be treated. And if I was dying for a miracle, I'd want for somebody to have the opportunity to help me," says third grade teacher and sample volunteer, Jessica Barbosa.
Usually the best match though is from a sibling.
“So about 30% will find a match with in their own family and out of ten patients searching our registry only three to four end up finding a match," explains Elizondo,
Signing up to potentially be a match is pretty easy, a questionnaire on medical history is filled out and a few swabs from the inside of the cheek is all it takes and if your sample matches a person in need in the registry, that process is pretty easy too.
"A lot of times people think it's some scary process, but in reality, it's a very simple procedure. There are two ways to donate bone marrow and the most common way is through your blood," describes Elizondo.
Right now Nolan is hospitalized in Houston waiting for that match.
For more information on volunteering a sample, visit BeTheMatch.com and enter your zip code to find the location nearest you.