Valley teen draws attention to lack of bone marrow donations

"I don't get nauseous anymore or anything. I'm used to it, said 14-year-old Lilly Lopez of Brownsville.

She is fighting leukemia, a form of cancer attacking her bones.

She was diagnosed in October 2010 and every other week since she has undergone chemotherapy up on the 4th floor,

inside Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg.

Lilly's father Luis has been down this road before.

"I already lost a daughter to cancer. Still it was very hard to hear those words that my daughter had cancer. It was hard, very hard."

Lilly's 18-month-old sister lost her battle to cancer and with another daughter sick it is taking a toll on the family.

"This is the second time going through this. It has not prepared me. It doesn't matter how many times you go. It TMs very devastating when you hear that your daughter has cancer," said Lopez.

The happy-go-lucky teen who is into volley ball, acting, and hitting the mall, now roams the halls of the hospital's

Children's Center, waiting for a bone marrow donor match.

Well it helps save a person's life," said Lilly.

According to the national marrow donor program, out of the 9 million registered donors only 10 percent are Hispanic.

Melissa Elizondo with South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, is trying to increase that number by adding more people from the Rio Grande Valley to the list.

"When we're looking for a match we're looking for someone to match their same gene typing. So beyond your family your best bet to find your match is going to be in your own ethnic background," said Elizondo.

The process is fast and easy.

It just takes four wipes from a cotton swab in your mouth to collect enough DNA to register as a donor.

Just imagine if it was a part of your family or your own kid that needed this. I mean wouldn't you want someone to be out there saying hey I'm willing to step up and see if I can help your kid?" said Lilly.

For now, Lilly is in remission but will have to continue chemo until a match is made.

Register to become a donor:

Pro Medic EMS101 N. Tower Rd.AlamoFriday, June 174:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Los Fresnos Boys and Girls Club900 N Arroyo BlvdLos FresnosSaturday, June 1810:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Boogedy Bear TMs Party Land22 Palm VlgBrownsvilleMonday, June 276:00 to 8:00 p.m.