Valley teen battling leukemia urges bone marrow donations

A 14-year-old girl battling cancer is calling on the community to help save her and the lives of others.

Action 4 News spoke to Rio Grande Valley resident Lily Lopez last week.

She was diagnosed with leukemia about a year ago and is in need of a bone marrow transplant but first she needs to find a match.

The family has held several registry drives to help but despite their efforts, her father says response from the community hasn't been what they had hoped for.

He believes some people maybe misinformed about the donation process.

They are willing to educate the public by teaming up with the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center and hosting several bone marrow registry events.

Melissa Elizondo with the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center spoke to Action 4 News.

"Wwhat that means for us here in the Valley is that most of our patients are Hispanic and when you're looking for a match your best bet beyond your family is going to be within your own ethnic background, Elizondo said. It's a little bit of your time, for someone else's entire life"

Lopez agrees adding that she and others need help.

"I've gone through way worse than that, so obviously I TMm still here, so it doesn TMt really hurt that much, Lopez said about the process.

To register on the National Bone Marrow Registry, one must be between 18 to 60 years of age, in general good health and be willing to actually donate bone marrow if found to be a match.

The next bone marrow registry event for Lily Lopez will be held on Monday, June 27th at Boogedy Bears at 2606 International Boulevard in Brownsville from 6 to 8 p.m.

Another registry drive will be held Saturday, July 9th at Gold's Gym off Dove Street in McAllen.

Those who can't make it out to one of these drives are asked to the National Bone Marrow Registry website.