EL PASO, TX (KTSM) – Dak is 4 years old and loves playing outside with his friends and family. Sporting events are constant for Dak’s family. Dak plays t-ball and football and his Dad is a 7th grade Highland Park Middle School basketball coach, a Highland Park High School freshman football coach, and an assistant softball coach. Dak’s recent leukemia diagnosis was a shock to this family and has caused Dak to spend weeks in the hospital. Dak’s treatment will include a bone marrow/blood stem cell transplant.
A bone marrow drive, sponsored by the El Paso Sports Commission and hosted by the El Paso County Coliseum, in an effort to help benefit Dak Lopez and other hispanic children nationwide, will take place Saturday June 18, 2022 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Heritage matters when it comes to finding a matching donor. The donor pool is not diverse making it difficult for Hispanic patients, like Dak, to find a donor. Signing up as a potential donor takes a matter of minutes and involves understanding what happens if you are found to be a matching donor and swabbing the inside of your cheeks. You could be the one person who can give someone like Dak a second chance to get back to playing sports with his friends and going fishing with his family.
From Dak’s family:
We are working hard to get the word out about a bone marrow/blood stem cell donor drive to add hundreds of Hispanic potential donors to the donor pool. Dak Lopez, is a cute little boy who loves all things dinosaurs, turtles, and anything water-related. Unfortunately he is currently battling an aggressive form of leukemia. He is only 4-years-old, yet needs a bone marrow transplant to save his life. The Lopez family is originally from El Paso, where Adam coached Varsity football at Pebble Hills, until Adam and his family decided to move from El Paso to Dallas just three years ago. We are Adam’s cousins, Mark and Yvonne Lopez and we will be hosting a bone marrow drive locally on Saturday, June 18th – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the El Paso County Coliseum.
Like many patients diagnosed with cancer, Dak’s family was shocked when they received the news that the active little boy who loves fishing, playing t-ball, football and roughhousing with his brother is now unable to do any of this because of a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia. His treatment will require a blood stem cell transplant in order for him to be cured.
Thirty percent of patients find a matching donor in their family, Dak does not have a perfect matching donor in his family. The family says they have an unrelated, genetic twin. Only 2% of Americans have registered as potential donors. In addition, the donor pool is not diverse, making it even harder for Hispanic patients, like Dak, to find a matching donor for a second chance at life.
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