As we approach Mother’s Day, the greatest gift of all would be for these moms to find matching donors for their children.
Four mothers across the U.S. find themselves united by one devastating commonality: their daughters, each battling a rare blood cancer or blood disorder, are in a race against time to find matching stem cell donors and a second chance at life. These mothers have been fighting every day to save their daughters’ lives. Now, they’ve come together to support one another while raising awareness of the critical need for the public to register as potential life-savers.
DKMS will send you a tote bag of supplies containing 10 contactless registration kits to be used within one week. We have 10 million donors registered worldwide. We want 10 million more. Help us reach this goal by swabbing at least 4 people in honor of these 4 moms! These supplies will be at no cost to you.Request a Tote Now
Anessa Haden of Alabama is the mother of 8-month-old True Haden who was recently diagnosed with congenital amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia (CAMT) and needs a bone marrow transplant to survive. Due to the extreme nature of her condition, True is categorized as an “emergency transplant” case and doctors have informed her family that she will likely not live past the age of 3 without a matching donor. True’s interracial background – a mix of African American, Indian, Puerto Rican, and Caucasian – makes her chances of finding a match even more challenging, as these ethnicity groups are underrepresented in the global donor pool.
Jaimie Havard of Louisiana is the mother of 16-year-old Courtlynn Havard who was diagnosed with aplastic anemia and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria in October 2020 and needs a bone marrow transplant to survive. As a sophomore in high school, Courtlynn played softball and baseball, had her own cattle business, and loves spending time with friends and family. She unfortunately hasn’t been able to play sports, attend school or see her friends since being sick – a bone marrow transplant will give her a second chance at life and enable her to continue doing what she loves.
Tara Forrest of Boston is a registered nurse and the mother of 14-year-old Ali Pantoja, who is battling acute myeloid leukemia and in urgent need of a matching donor to save her life. Ali is in the eighth grade, enjoys playing and watching basketball and soccer, and is an honors student. She doesn’t have a match in her family and must rely on a stranger for a second chance in life, which is difficult given the fact that she is of mixed heritage: Puerto Rican and White.
Photo: Ali Pantoja, Tara's daughter
Destiny Van Sciver of California is the mother of Kylie (9 years old) and Kimora (13 years old), who were both diagnosed with sickle cell disease. One matching donor would have the rare opportunity to save both of their lives. Kimora loves science and Kylie is a track star, they’re both avid Lakers/Kobe Bryant fans, and have bright futures ahead of them. But they’ve continued to struggle with the devastating sickle cell diagnosis throughout their entire lives, and a matching donor would give both girls a second chance at life. Unfortunately, Black Americans are severely underrepresented on the bone marrow registry, greatly reducing their odds of finding a match, as patients are more likely to find a match in those who share similar ancestry.