Sailor's 3-Year-Old Daughter Needs a Bone Marrow Transplant

Ailani Myers awaits a life-saving bone marrow transplant. First, her family must find a match. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

When Kurt Myers and his wife, Princecine Johnson, joined the Navy, they may have expected that they'd have to go to war at some point. But it's every parent's worst nightmare that the battle they may face will be for their child's life.

According to USA Today, that is exactly what the Myers family -- specifically, their 3-year-old daughter, Ailani -- is facing.

In March, Ailani was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. Her dad, Kurt, remains on active duty and is currently stationed in Baltimore, where Ailani is receiving treatment. Her mom is a Navy veteran.

While Be the Match has millions of donors, Ailani’s case is complicated by the fact that she is half black and half white.

Be the Match was founded by Dr. Robert Graves, D.V.M., and his wife Sherry, who were desperate to find a volunteer match for their daughter, Laura. They did and were inspired to help other families by matching those in need of a bone marrow transplant with eligible donors.

Mixed Marrow, an outreach organization that partners with Be the Match to solicit bone marrow donations from varied ethnic backgrounds, highlights the desperate need for donors of mixed ethnicity.

According to its website, "Every year, over 30,000 people are diagnosed in the U.S. with life-threatening blood diseases like leukemia. For many patients, a bone marrow transplant is their only chance at survival. Only 30% of patients find matching donors within their families. The remaining 70% must search for an unrelated donor. On the U.S.' national Be the Match Registry, a total of 30% of donors are minorities and 3% of potential donors self-identify as mixed race. Though this approximately matches U.S. Census data, more mixed-race donors are needed given the sheer genetic diversity of the group."

Registering is easy and takes only a few minutes. Be the Match will mail you a kit and detailed instructions for completing a pain-free cheek swab that you then return.

Ailani is described as loving pink and princesses. Help this family fight their battle by registering today. Text 4Ailani to 61474 to get started. You could Be the Match.

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