GCC students plan bone marrow drive - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GCC students plan bone marrow drive

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by Joan Aguon Charfauros

Guam - Taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule could save a life. 16-year-old Kaila Garrido needs a bone marrow donor. The GW High School student was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia.

As part of the service learning component of the Supervision and Management Program, GCC students are spearheading a drive called "A Cure for Kaila."  Lisa Ibanez is one of the coordinators and told KUAM News, "We are going to register people who are donors basically, they will come in fill out the registration forms, swab the inside of their cheeks and from there they get shipped to Honolulu for testing to see if we get a match."

According to Ibanez, events like this are critical. She said, "We're a minority group and being minority, we don't have a lot of donors out there, we're a small community so we encourage the island to stop by and it's really important that we get together as a community."

Kaila's father, Mike, describes her as being a loving, sweet, and outgoing teenager. He said she's maintained "pretty good spirits, smiling, a typical 16-year-old trying to get through high school and all the fun stuff of being a teenager."

He says his daughter was very athletic prior to her being diagnosed having participated on the rugby and track team. He said it was during rugby when they noticed something wrong. "A real surprise that it could happen to anybody. It first takes a while to actually figure out what she is going through, you have to sit down and have to talk about the realities, what the extent of the curing and treatments and at this point it is the bone marrow transplant."

"A Cure for Kaila" will be held on Saturday, October 20 from 10am-6pm at the Agana Shopping Center. Please stop by, it could just be the cure for Kaila or any others around the world who are waiting for the perfect match.

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