MONTEREY PARK – A bone marrow drive will be held March 20 at East Los Angeles College for Sofia Flores, a 2-year old girl of Caucasian and Hispanic descent who has acute leukemia.
The drive will run from noon to 3 p.m. on the south side of ELAC’s E-7 Building.
The odds of finding a match for Sofia Flores – whose rare form of leukemia affects only 1 percent of children – are already slim, and her mixed-race ethnicity is making it even more difficult to find a compatible donor, according to A3M, a local recruitment center for Be the Match, the operator of the world’s largest most diverse marrow registry.
Doctors harvested marrow from Sofia’s father, Ignacio, in January, but the procedure did not work. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) types, which are used to make matches, are more commonly found in people with the same racial or ethnic background.
“This is a very urgent situation and East Los Angeles College is a good location to hold the drive because of the college community’s large Hispanic enrollment,” said Marilyn Ladd, an ELAC professor of kinesiology who is helping organize the event.
Registering to donate is noninvasive and only takes a swab of saliva to determine a match. To be a volunteer donor, A3M requires that persons to be between the ages of 18 and 44 and be willing to help any patient