Tara was diagnosed with myelodysplasic syndrome (MDS), which means that her bone marrow does not make enough white and red blood cells, platelets or other blood components. MDS patients also run a high risk of developing leukemia. Tara was devastated and scared. She had a young son to take care of, and doctors only gave her three years to live.
But Tara is still alive today, and there is a cure – a bone marrow transplant. But even with millions of potential marrow donors on the Be The Match Registry, there is no match for Tara. Her parents adopted her from Korea when she was an infant, and a search for her birth parents to see if they were a match was not successful. Her sister, also adopted from Korea, is not a match.
Tara believes her son, 12-year-old Jalen, is the reason she’s still alive. Jalen is an honor role student, a jokester who loves sports and plays football and track. One of his and Tara’s favorite pastimes is going to football and hockey games together.
Tara wants to see Jalen grow up, graduate, get married and start a family – instead of wondering if she will be alive at his next birthday. “They have a cure for me,” Tara says. “All I need is a match.”
You could be the one to help Tara. Join the marrow registry free during the Be The Match Marrowthon June 8 – 22.