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EDITORIAL : THE DRIVE TO STAY ALIVE.

WE wish to honor those people who will roll up their sleeves this month with the intention of becoming bone marrow donors.

Marrow is the soft, vascular, fatty tissue that forms in most bones. It is essential to our health. In people with leukemia and other blood diseases the marrow is cancerous or diseased. When chemotherapy fails, a transplant is needed.

Like finding a perfect match to donate for an organ, it is difficult to find people with compatible bone marrow. That is why children such as 3-year-old Kyle Rodas of Arleta must wait months or even years before receiving a transplant.

The best matches are those with similar traits, particularly ethnicities. And that is why Kyle's plight is so heart-wrenching. Though there are 3 million prospective donors in a nationwide registry, only 5 percent are Latino, like Kyle.

Doctors have been searching for more than 18 months for a match for Kyle. Still, his family holds out hope. And you can help by signing up to become a possible donor this month - to help him or someone else.

When a match is found, the donor is admitted to a hospital where under general anesthesia 4 percent of their bone marrow is extracted from the rear of one hip. The donor may experience some soreness, but that certainly seems reasonable enough to save a life

Bone marrow drives will be held at San Fernando Park on Nov. 13; Valley College on Nov. 15 and Pasadena City College on Nov. 23. They all begin at 9:30 a.m.

You can help save a life.
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Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Nov 4, 1999
Words:264
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