EUGENE, Ore. – A Eugene family is hoping there’s someone in our area who’s a match to help save their daughter’s life.
The family’s five-and-a-half month old daughter needs a bone marrow transplant.
Harlow Grace Powers suffers from a rare immunodeficiency syndrome also known as the Bubble Boy Disease.
Her family only found out about the diagnosis a couple of weeks ago.
Harlow’s mom, Somer Deck, says a bone marrow transplant at this point is the only option.
“To hear someone tell you that you could lose your child is I think understandably one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to hear and so it’s been tough,” said Deck. “One in every 100,000 babies are born with it,” added Deck.
To help find Harlow’s match, a bone marrow drive is planned for Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Umpqua Bank on Oakway Road.
Organizers say all you need to do is show up, fill out some paperwork and a cheek swab will be taken of your DNA.
You need to be between 18 and 44 and you are then entered into the worldwide database.
“I would just ask people to imagine it being your daughter, your sister, your best friend’s baby. It’s vital that they find a bone marrow donor,” said bone marrow driver organizer Leah Hyland.
The marrow tests go to the international registry Be The Match. Since its creation in 1987, Be The Match has facilitated more than 55,000 marrow and cord blood transplants for patients who do not have matching donors in their families. Being a match is rare too.
Be the Match says 1 in every 540 people on the registry will go on to donate marrow to a patient.
Baby Harlow’s family is hoping this Christmas the odds are in her favor.
“The goal is finding a match for Harlow,” said Hyland. “The beauty is its national, so somebody at the event could potentially save not only Harlow’s life, but millions of others on the registry awaiting a bone marrow transplant.”
“I call them Harlow’s warriors fighting. They are fighting for her and us, it’s amazing,” said Deck.
Be The Match says if you are a match, 75 percent of the time the donation is a non-surgical procedure similar to donating platelets or plasma.
About 25 percent of the time a surgical outpatient procedure takes place.
For more information on donating bone marrow, click here.