Bone Marrow Donations

December 14, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
A Fresno State student is hoping someone in the Valley holds the key to his future.He needs a donor who's willing to go "down to the bone" to save his life.

A hospital bed has been Kavon Momen's home away from home for the past two weeks. The Fresno State student is recovering from the latest setback in his fight against aplastic anemia.

It's a rare condition in which the bone marrow stops producing new blood cells, including platelets and white blood cells needed to fight infection.

He started noticing something was wrong, two months ago, just before his 23rd birthday. Kavon's doctor, Fresno hematologist and oncologist, Dr.Ravi Rao said Kavon may never know.

Dr. Rao said in some patients, aplastic anemia could result from exposure to a virus or toxin, but he's concentrating on finding a cure for Kavon instead of a cause.

Kavon gets regular blood transfusions because his body isn't producing blood cells, but he needs a bone marrow transplant his rich ethnic heritage makes it more challenging to find a match.

Family members are the best chance to find a match, but so far, none of Kavon's loved ones are a match. This predicament is leaving him to find a bone marrow donor somewhere in the world, but they are starting with his own community.

A week ago the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno hosted a blood drive and bone marrow donor registry sign-up to help Kavon. People of Iranian and Hispanic heritage were encouraged to donate but anyone in the community was invited to give life-saving blood to help Kavon or someone else.

Monday at the Save Mart Center in North Fresno, a community-wide blood drive and bone marrow registry event will be held to help Kavon and many others. The gift of life from family, friends and total strangers gives Kavon hope for Monday.

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