September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and Be the Match — City of Hope will be registering Santa Barbara and Ventura County residents to the bone marrow registry in an effort to find a match for almost 3-year-old Magnus Kalins of Ventura.
Magnus was diagnosed with juvenile myelomoncytic leukemia (JMML), an incredibly rare leukemia that accounts for less than 1 percent of all childhood leukemia.
After a shockingly fast and sudden diagnosis, the family is now faced with the reality that the only course of treatment is a bone marrow transplant.
Every four minutes, someone in the world is diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukemia, and 70 percent of patients who need a marrow transplant do not have a matching donor in their family. When there is no match from a family member or relative, organizations like the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and Be the Match — City of Hope assist with finding a match.
In Magnus’ case, no family member is a match. The Kalins family is of unique Latvian decent, and though they hope to find a match within the tiny Latvian community, they know the importance of registering as many people as possible to the bone marrow registry.
“If you are between the ages of 18 and 44 and have diverse or Latvian ancestry, Magnus especially need you,” said Vivian Abernathy, community outreach specialist at Be the Match — City of Hope. “Donors and patients who share the same ancestry are most likely to match.”
Please plan to visit any of these locations on these dates and register; you can be the match for Magnus!
» Sept. 13 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Island Brewing Co. in Carpinteria
» Sept. 14 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Dolphin Fountain (at Cabrillo Drive) in Santa Barbara
» Sept. 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at YMCA in Ventura
» Sept. 21 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Latvian Community Center in Riverside
If you are unable to able to attend a registration event, please register online by clicking here and using the code “Match4Magnus.”
— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.