Bone marrow needed to save a Valley soldier's life

FRESNO, Calif.

"Knowing that you already passed your family, you passed the list. So now, you're hoping for that one person to be a genetic match to you, within this next year," SPC Corona said.

Corona knows the odds of finding a match are about as good as they were for him to develop the rare form of blood cancer, known as AML leukemia. The Army National Guard Specialist is facing his second battle against the disease. The first time he was diagnosed his son, Marcos Jr., was just a few months old. That cancer fight was over in less than a year. But the celebration didn't last long.

"Just to be re-diagnosed not even 9 months later… it's just deflating," Corona said.

His doctors say the chemo therapy that helped the first time won't work this time. He needs a bone marrow transplant.

"But, if I beat it that quick the first time, there's no doubt in my mind something's going to happen, hopefully," he said.

The good news is Marcos is getting help with his search for a marrow donor. Recently, a dozen of his military colleagues launched a bone marrow registry effort in Bakersfield.

"It's just been like a blessing to have everyone doing that, feeling the support of everyone," said Geneva Corona, Marcos' wife. "It's amazing."

The Corona family is hoping for anyone to take a cheek swab and join the registry. "If you feel it in your hearts, you know, go out and get swabbed," Geneva pleaded. "You can be saving some body's life. I'm mean, hopefully it's him as well."

"We'll find a match, I know it," said Marcos' mother, Sally Corona. "I have faith, I believe there is somebody out there that either got swabbed or going to get swabbed and it's going to save his life."

Marcos said if he gets better he hopes to return to the Army National Guard to continue to serve his country.

The next bone marrow registry event for SPC Corona will take place Wednesday from 8 a-m to noon at the Kaiser Permanente offices in northeast Fresno.

Another registry event will take place March 3 from Noon-4pm at the Porterville National Guard Armory. The address is 29 North P Street.

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