Weslaco teen searching for bone marrow donor after blood cancer diagnosis

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A Weslaco teen diagnosed with blood cancer is in need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant. 

Rolando Badillo Jr., 13, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in September 2020. His best chance for survival is having a bone marrow transplant or stem cell donation, but finding a donor has been difficult. 

"We have a very low representation of Hispanic and Latinos on our registry", Be The Match account Manager Leticia Mondragon said. 

According to "Be the Match", the nation's most diverse marrow donor program, 70% of patients don't have a perfect match in their family. 

"When we look at percentages, 79% of Caucasians and white patients have an opportunity and chance to find their match," Mondragon said. "Unfortunately, it drops down all the way to 48% for Latinos and Hispanics."

Badillo is determined to find a donor and get life-saving blood supply through a blood drive set for Sunday, June 26 at the Behavioral Effect Mental Health Clinic in Weslaco.

Badillo and his mother have temporarily moved to Houston for full body radiation and chemo-treatment. 

If interested in becoming the match for Badillo, text SWABJR to 61474.

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