In a lot of ways, nine-year-old Ely Cruz is a typical third-grade student—loves school, loves math, loves science. However, this Stephen C. Foster Elementary student’s compelling story and her desire to help others, who like her, need a bone marrow transplant, makes her exceptional.
Ely is lending her support to Children’s Health Be the Match bone marrow registry drive as the face of this year’s campaign to help get more people to sign up to become donors. She is a sickle cell patient who has been unsuccessful finding a bone marrow match. Her two brothers, who attend Thomas Jefferson High School, are not a match for Ely, nor is anyone else on the donor list of more than 12 million people.
Ely’s story puts a face on the campaign and shows why it is critical to have even more potential donors on the registry. According to Children’s Health, thousands of children are currently searching for the match that could be their only hope for survival.
Children’s Health recently sponsored a Be the Match registration drive. Ely had a chance to speak with local news stations and share her story. Unfortunately, no match was found for Ely, but in her usual selfless true fashion, the young student was hopeful that her efforts would help others to find their bone marrow match.
Joining the registry is simple, and it’s not too late to help. Potential donors must be 18 years old and need only undergo a swab of their mouth. To learn more, visit www.childrens.com/bethematch.
Photos courtesy Children’s Health.