Bone marrow drive hopes to save teen with Guam roots - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Bone marrow drive hopes to save teen with Guam roots

Posted: Aug 10, 2018 10:14 AM Updated:

She's only 14, and suffering from a rare blood disease. One local family is asking the community for their help to find the perfect match to save Imani.

So far, no luck finding the perfect bone marrow match for her 14-year-old daughter Imani. "It would be a second chance at life, really," explained Angie Diaz Malanche. "Her being able to live a normal life as a teenager, get back to school, be with her friends live her life. That's what it'll mean to me giving her that hope again."

 Malanche is a mother of six and a daughter of Guam, her family from Agana Heights and Sinajana. She now lives with her family in Glendale, Arizona, where in November of last year, her 14-year old daughter Imani was hospitalized. "They didn't know what she had my kid was lying in a hospital bed, bleeding, and it not stopping, and they didn't know what was causing it," she said. "At first they told us that they thought she had leukemia and so right away my husband and I we didn't know what to do what to think."

 
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Doctors said it wasn't leukemia – instead, her daughter was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia with PNH that blocks her bone marrow from producing the white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets her immune system needs. A rare life-threatening blood disease, at 14, Imani is forced to go to a hospital twice a week.

Her life forever changed, and her mother prays for a cure. "With the bone marrow what we've been told is to find a match for Imani, it would be preferred to come from her ethnic background, so Imani is half-Chamorro, half-Mexican," she said. It only takes a swab of your check to test if you're a match.

And if you are her perfect match, you're a surgery away from saving Imani's life.

Her mother hopeful they'll find a donor, believing the drive goes beyond just her daughter a second chance at life, as she said, "That's all we ask if you're not a match for Imani but you're a match for somebody else in the world who needs it just as much as Imani, please consider being that ray of sunshine for somebody and that hope."

The Bone Marrow Drive will be held Saturday, August 18 from 10am to 4pm at Agana Shopping Center.

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