May 19, 2000
Ten-month-old Sergio Hernandez is in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant. After being diagnosed with leukemia at age seven months, the young boy began undergoing aggressive chemotherapy at UCSD Medical Center, Hillcrest, and is beginning another course of the therapy today. Children under age two with leukemia have a poor prognosis, according to Alice Yu, M.D., a UCSD pediatric oncologist caring for Sergio. Although in remission, Dr. Yu said, because of his young age, Sergio needs a bone marrow transplant in order to live and said time is of the essence. His chances of a recurrence are more than 80 percent.
Sergio's parents and brother, all from Chula Vista, are not matches for a transplant. The family is asking that anyone willing to be tested as a bone marrow transplant match for Sergio call the San Diego Blood Bank Bone Marrow Donor Center at 619/296-6393. The test involves one blood draw. A bone marrow match test costs $80.50 for Caucasians, but are free for all other ethnic backgrounds. Because he is Latino, a match for Sergio will likely be of the same ethnicity. To be tested as a bone marrow match, people, ages 18 to 60, should be in good health. Those who volunteer to be tested also agree to be added to the National Marrow Donor Registry and be contacted should they match with another patient in need of a transplant.