Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

August 23, 2005 > Help save my sister

Help save my sister

by Jessica Chavez

On June 26th 2001, my sister Veronica was diagnosed Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML). The symptoms that lead up to her diagnosis were weight loss, enlarged belly (spleen), bruising all over her body and vision problems. After initial drug therapy treatment she began to improve, but in 2003, Veronica's doctors noticed an additional mutation in her cancer that is associated with higher risk and a poorer prognosis. She was immediately found to be a suitable candidate for a Stem Cell/Marrow Transplant. Unfortunately, Veronica has been unable to find a match within her family and has now turned to unrelated donors, so far without success.

Through this all Veronica has never given up hope that a cure will be found for her. Even though there has been numerous set-backs in her treatment, Veronica remains very positive. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland A's games and occasionally traveling. She also tries to stay on top of the latest CML research. "I'm amazed by all the support I've received from people. My diagnosis was like a wake-up call. I truly appreciate all the beauty in the world and I plan to appreciate it for many years to come!"

But unless a match is found for my sister, her prognosis remains poor. Now it's a race against time. My family and I are organizing a Marrow Drive on Saturday, August 27 at St. Joseph's Church in Fremont, 43148 Mission Blvd.

If you are between the ages of 18 - 60 and in general good health then you are eligible to donate a sample. It only takes 15 minutes and a small blood sample to be added to the national registry.

Please go to to learn more about this upcoming event.
It would really mean a lot to me and my family if you could help save Veronica's life or one of the other 3,000+ Americans waiting for a match.

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