Hundreds tested to become bone marrow donor

9:28 PM, Sep 30, 2011   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Hundreds of people crowded the gymnasium on the campus of the Marist School Friday -- hoping one of them will be the one to help save the life of Isaac Del Valle.

IN DEPTH: Fighting for Isaac
PHOTOS: Bone Marrow Donor Testing Event
FACEBOOK: "Like" Fighing for Isaac

Isaac Del Valle knows something about winning and losing. The 15-year-old Marist High School student has been fighting for his life for five years. Isaac was first diagnosed with T-Cell Leukemia at the age of ten. At the five-year mark, his family rejoiced. "Five years is the huge milestone for cancer survivors. And we were there," said Linda Del Valle, Isaac's mom.

Their joy and relief was short-lived. Last May, they went for what they thought would be their very last oncology visit. Tests revealed that Isaac's cancer was back. And now, he faces an even tougher battle, because with each round of chemotherapy, the cancer becomes more resistant. Doctors believe his best chance is a bone marrow transplant.

Friday, 800 of Isaac's closest friends, supporters and even complete strangers converged on the campus of the Marist School to be tested to see whether or not they were an eligible bone marrow donor for Isaac.

While people stepped up to become bone marrow donors, they also stepped up and donated money.  A total of $65,000 was donated to the Fight for Isaac and Cure Childhood Cancer. Donations from AT&T, CVS Pharmacy, the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and countless individuals contributed to the Fight for Isaac.  Among the individual donations -- an anonymous donor who dropped off ten envelopes, each with $115 inside -- enough to pay for ten bone marrow donor tests.

Also funding the fight was the sale of500 yellow Fighting for Isaac T-shirts and 1,000 wristbands.

Each of the prospective donors had the inside of their cheeks swabbed.  Those swabs will be test over the next two weeks -- to see if at least one of them is a bone marrow match for Isaac.

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