As many new parents know all too well, unfortunately, just getting through a pregnancy and giving birth without incident doesn’t guarantee that major problems aren’t just around the corner.
Elena Schell had son Matthew in Madrid, Spain, just a few months ago, and when he had a fever early on, she and husband Eduardo assumed it was nothing serious. As it turns out, however, it was the first sign that he suffers from Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia, according to Yahoo News.
Matthew is now just three months old with only two or three months left to live if he doesn’t get a bone marrow transplant — and doctors have given the Schells a deflating, heartbreaking 1-percent chance that a match will be found.
But as Eduardo told Yahoo, “You only have two choices in your life when that kind of thing happens to you: sink or fight.”
So they’re fighting. Eduardo, a sports journalist, took to his computer to launch a bone marrow campaign and became a Twitter trending topic (#M4M) within two hours using the help of such friends as Rafael Nadal and Fernando Torres. He also created a website in an effort to educate people about donating bone marrow as well as to find a match for Matthew and other leukemia sufferers.
Close to a million people have visited the website in just about a week’s time and more than 2,600 people have donated bone marrow as a direct result. Still, Eduardo says the family is still waiting for a call that a match for Matthew has been found. To date, they’re still waiting.
“We know that it’s very hard; we have many times of downturn, it’s like a roller coaster, but if you fall seven times, you have to get up eight, each time with a smile,” he said to Yahoo News.
Getting tested to see if you’re a match is as simple as a blood test, and even those who aren’t matched with Matthew can enter a database to potentially help save other lives in the future.
To find out more about becoming a bone marrow donor, visit Marrow for Matthew
Photo credit: Marrow for Matthew
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