MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The last time we talked to 8-year-old Dakhiyon back in January. He was receiving treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and looking for a bone marrow donor.
Seven months later, he’s still holding out hope that someone will step up to the plate and save his life.
“He’s doing every three weeks blood transfusions to slow down the progression of organ damage to prolong his quality of life until he gets a transplant donor,” said Audrea Crumble, Dakhiyon’s mom.
Crumble says her son suffers from sickle cell anemia and he’s in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant.
He’s been waiting for over a year and a half and, because he’s Black, he’ll likely have to wait even longer.
Dakhiyon’s perfect match is likely someone of a similar ethnic background and there are so few Black donors on the registry.
According to Be the Match, Dakhiyon has a 23% chance to find a donor.
If he were white, he’d have a 77% chance.
“If the education was there and they knew the urgency of the need of them than they would sign up because that’s basically what we need. Nobody is trying to sign up and the pandemic made it even harder,.” said Crumble.
A spokesperson for Be the Match says since the start of COVID-19 they have seen a decline in the number of people joining the registry.
Traditional recruitment events have been cancelled due to the pandemic.
Be the Match has had to take extraordinary steps to keep the donor and patient safe which means in some cases changing the locations of procedures or delaying them all together.
However, Dakhiyon is different. His procedure cannot wait.
Since his procedure is classified as “life-saving” for Dakhiyon, as soon as a match is made Be the Match will coordinate the procedure.
“Hopefully one day we’ll get a donor, but even if we don’t I get so much satisfaction of knowing that I might have helped someone else along the way,” said Crumble.
To join the marrow registry, it only requires a simple mouth swab and Be the Match can send you a kit straight to your front door!
>>To learn more about the marrow registry, click here.