Learn how you can help a Valley soldier

FRESNO, Calif.

Army Specialist Marcos Corona is full of life and spirit, but inside, his body is battling a rare-form of blood cancer called AML leukemia.

His family, friends and fellow soldiers are combining forces - hosting bone marrow drives - to find a match. But now Specialist Corona is hoping to find matches for others.

"It makes me feel like we're doing good for somebody," said Specialist Corona. "I keep saying if not for me, someone is definitely going to get a call saying that they have a match, and they found a person for them and that there is a second chance at life for them."

On Wednesday, dozens of people came out to Kaiser Permanente's Fresno campus for Corona's bone marrow drive, like Corina Portugal.

"Hopefully with the outreach of everybody he gets what he needs," said Corina Portugal. "Being a mother myself, I would hope that if something like this happened, there would be enough support from the community to get them through it."

Portugal said the process was quick, easy and painless and even more rewarding.

Because the Valley is so diverse, Specialist Corona is also hoping to bring awareness to bone marrow donation. With more than 10 million people on the national registry, only 10% of them are Hispanic.

In Specialist Corona's family, not one person is a match. So the young father is in desperate need of a generous donor.

"It's the only option for cure in life," said Dr. Brandy Box-Noriega. "Without it, we're looking at cure, or there's no other option."

While Specialist Corona undergoes chemotherapy treatment, he is optimistic for whatever comes his way.

"Like I said you never stop praying, you never stop doing any of this," said Specialist Corona. "Me and my family know something is going to happen. Something good or something great either for myself or somebody else."

Fellow soldiers are putting on another bone marrow drive to help Specialist Corona.

The drive will be held Sunday, March 3rd from noon to 4:00 p.m. at the National Guard armory in Porterville.

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