Local Mexican restaurant bringing attention to the need for more minority bone marrow donors

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Lorraine Salazar is preparing Sal's Mexican Restaurant for another busy week. Soon, she will be hosting a bone marrow drive at her Valley restaurants. (KFSN)

Lorraine Salazar is preparing Sal's Mexican Restaurant for another busy week. Soon, she will be hosting a bone marrow drive at her Valley restaurants.

"It was like, 'Oh my gosh, one of our young family members has this disease, this cancer and what can we all do to mobilize around PJ?'"

Salazar's cousin Paul, PJ, Ota is battling Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He needs a match and out of his large family four people are partial matches including Salazar. Complicating the search is the fact that PJ is Mexican and Japanese-American and finding a match has proven difficult.

"His siblings were not matches and I know that was very heartbreaking for the family. So now the goal is to find a 100-percent match. After his therapy at Stanford we just recently found out last week that the tumor started to grow."

The search is on to find PJ a match and to get more Valley residents on the donor list with the bone marrow drive at Sal's.

Veronica Lases with A3M says being a match is not always as scary as people think.
"When you donate, just like donating platelets, blood is withdrawn from one arm, filters through machine, and it separates your stem cells. The blood returns right back to your body your stem cells will grow back in about for six weeks."

Lases said there is a great need for people of all backgrounds, especially those who are minorities.

The bone marrow drive kicks off Tuesday in Fresno at the Sal's Mexican restaurant and continues Wednesday in Madera and wraps up Thursday in Selma.

Organizers hope to see friend's family and the community come out not only to help PJ, but hopefully save a life.

Dates and times for the events are below:

February 21st from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sal's Mexican Restaurant
7476 N Fresno St, Fresno, CA

February 22nd from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sal's Mexican Restaurant
2001 Cleveland Ave F, Madera, CA

February 23st from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sal's Mexican Restaurant
2163 Park St, Selma, CA
Related Topics:
healthcancerrestaurantfresnoFresno
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