September 19, 2003

Local Group Sponsors Hispanic Bone Marrow Registry Drive in Hopes of Finding a March for 2-Year-Old Anthony Gonzales

To commemorate Children’s Cancer Month in September, the Emilio Nares Foundation (ENF) in conjunction with the San Diego Blood Bank/ Stem Cell Donor Center will be hosting their 1st Annual Hispanic bone Marrow Registry Drive, with the goal of recruiting more than 500 Hispanic doors.

Diane and Richard Nares lost their only child, Emilio, to cancer on October 15, 2000, when he was only 5-years old because they could not find a Hispanic marrow donor match when he relapsed. Now, in Emilio’s honor, they have dedicated their lives towards helping other families facing the same devastating ordeal with the formation of the Emilio Nares Foundation and the Kids’ Cancer Support Network.

Recently, ENF turned their efforts towards helping Anthony Gonzales, a two year old local boy who desperately needs to find a marrow donor immediately. Anthony has ALL Leukemia and his condition is so critical that he must immediately seek a marrow transplant rather than receive long-term chemotherapy. Anthony Gonza-les is of Mexican descent and is from National City.

“Locally in San Diego, at the Children’s Hospital alone, an average of 10 new cancer patients are diagnosed every month. Overall, 65% of them are Hispanic. These are extremely alarming statistics that hits the hearts of every parent,” comments Diane Nares.

Most of these children have Leukemia and for every 10 who are in chemotherapy treatment, 3 will relapse. When this happens, their ONLY hope for survival is a bone marrow transplant. 70% will not find a donor match within their own family so they must search the national registry. Their best chance for finding a match is within their own ethnic group.

Unfortunately, many ethnic groups, especially Hispanics, are severely underrepresented in the registry. So a large component of ENF’s efforts are to continually recruit more Hispanics and other under served ethnic groups to register with the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP).

ENF will recognize Hispanic Heritage Month with their 1st Annual Hispanic Bone Marrow Registry Drive scheduled for Saturday, September 20, 2003. The San Diego Blood Bank’s Blood Mobile will be located in front of Mc-Donald’s from 11am to 3pm by the Nike Outlet. (The Shops at Las Americas is located just north of the U.S. Mexican border, west of the 5 Freeway. Take the last U.S. exit to 4111 Camino de la Plaza, across from the San Ysidro Outlet Center.).

All costs normally associated with marrow registration will be “waived” at these two events for anyone who wants to register. (Value +65)

“Joining the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) registry is so easy. It takes 10 minutes to complete from start to finish and only requires a small vial of blood... Who wouldn’t take 10 minutes out of their day to help a child?” commented Steve Ramirez, owner of McDonald’s of San Ysidro.

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