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Santa Barbara Community Academy Hosting Bone Marrow Drive for Local Father

Rudy Carlos, the beneficiary of an 'Eat Your Heart Out' fundraiser, now needs a match for a lifesaving transplant

The Santa Barbara Community Academy will host a bone marrow drive from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27 at 850 Portesuello St. in Santa Barbara for Rudy Carlos, who was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia.

One day in February of this year, Carlos learned that he was being removed from his home and his van was being repossessed. The father of four girls (ages 9 to 15) had come to Santa Barbara three months earlier to get help from family while battling his cancer.

Things didn’t go as planned, and Carlos found himself without a home, vehicle, cell phone, computer and job, while having to raise four daughters.

In March, Santa Barbara helped the family in an unprecedented fundraiser, called Eat Your Heart Out, Santa Barbara, where area eateries donated 20 percent of their revenue for three hours during the peak dinner time. Restaurants such as Cody’s Café, Pizza Mizza, and Fresco Café, with the generous donations of the public, raised $10,000 for the Carlos family, getting them a place to live, a vehicle, cell phone and computer.

“This community is incredible,” Carlos said. “They made me feel welcome and helped my family.”

Though the family is back on their feet, unfortunately, Carlos is not out of the woods. The City of Hope is ready to give him the lifesaving bone marrow transplant he needs, but there hasn’t been a match found for him. So, Santa Barbarans are being asked once more to help Carlos.

To test if you are a match is a painless, 15-minute process that includes a swab of the cheek and some paperwork to fill out. There is no need for an appointment. Just show up at the Santa Barbara Community Academy between 1 and 5 p.m. on Oct. 27 and see if you can be the match.

— Leon Lewandowski of Santa Barbara is an event organizer.

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