A 14-year-old DeKalb girl who was born with a rare blood disorder is now fighting for her life and organizers of a bone marrow drive are hoping to help.
Friends and family of Emma Gomez teamed up with Be the Match to host a bone marrow screening on Monday in hopes of finding a match for Emma. Be the Match recruits donors who could potentially be matches for people in need of a bone marrow transplant.
Emma was born with Severe Congenital Neutropenia (Kostmann's Syndrome), meaning her body could not produce white blood cells on its own. In November of last year, she was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome, which was formerly known as pre-Leukemia. She needed a bone marrow transplant to survive.
She was put on the list, but due to her half-German, half-Puerto Rican heritage, donors were rare. One was found, but after undergoing the transplant earlier this year, Emma suffered many complications and the transplant failed. Her disease has now progressed to Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).
Participants in Monday's screenings were placed on the national registry for bone marrow, so they are helping to find matches for people around the country, and not just Emma.