Transcript for Becoming a Bone Marrow Donner Saves Lives
As many of you know a couple of years ago I was diagnosed with mds which was once known as preleukemia. I needed a bone marrow transplant and blessed my big sister sally Ann was a perfect match. Most people are not that fortunate. In fact, 70% of the people that need marrow transplants do not have a match in their family, 70%. One of those families reached out to us with their story. It's 9:00 A.M. And Joshua, who has sickle cell anemia is arriving at children's medical center Dallas for the beginning of a long day. It's a trip he's been Ming every month for most of his young life. How are you feeling today? Reporter: With mom Vera. When he was 20 months old he had a severe stroke that left him with weakness on the right side of his body. Hi, josh. Reporter: In order to stave off future strokes caused by the disease, Joshua has blood transfusions every four to six weeks. It's a lengthy sometimes uncomfortable process, but it's the best solution until he finds a bone marrow donor. Transplant is the only cure for sickle cell anemia. These blood vessels in his brain where his stroke occurred have continued to narrow. We believe that transplant really offers him the best chance to not have a life-threatening stroke. Reporter: Between doctors' visits, he loves to play. I like football and basketball. Reporter: And lots of affection from mom. You ready to get started? Reporter: He manages his treatment with good humor and poise beyond his age. I think josh has a huge heart. The things we have to do sometimes aren't always the most fun, you know, starting an I.V. And having to sit in a chair for four hours, but I mean he justs loves it when you come in the room and loves the interaction. Oh, no. Reporter: 20% of the people in need of a bone marrow transplant are children. He's been looking for a match for four years. I know in my heart there is somebody out there that's going to match josh. Reporter: Hoping to widen the search Joshua's family sent me a message. Robin, many people listen to you. Have a voice for us to find a match for Joshua or kids like him. Help me find my match. Reporter: His message is loud and clear. Get tested. Join be the match and maybe make someone's dream a reality. My dream for Joshua is being healthy, being able to just do what he loves to do, I want Joshua to feel like he can do anything but to be able to do it, it would bring joy to me and to him. I tell you, when I Skype with josh, he makes me laugh. He's so full of spirit and just really -- his mother and everybody there at the hospital in Dallas. I don't know if you realize a marrow or cord transplant can be a treatment option for more than 70 different diseases including sickle cell anemia, leukemia, lymphoma. To find out more go to be the match and you can find that information on our website at goodmorningamerica.com on Yahoo! And I know you out there, you've been doing it. You know, you've been hitting me on Twitter so thank you very much for trying. It's so easy. It doesn't hurt. Please do it. His match could be anywhere. Lease find it. All right. Coming up, improve this.
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