DALLAS — Malena Brown is hoping for a match on this Valentine’s Day weekend, but it’s not the kind of match you expect.
The 15-year-old daughter of Dallas Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown is looking for an "angel donor" whose bone marrow stem cells will match hers and help her overcome what's known as CML, or chronic myeloid leukemia.
“Well, it’s kind of scary knowing that there wasn't a match for me, but we're doing a bone marrow drive now and hopefully find somebody that matches me,” Malena said.
Neither one of Malena's siblings is a match, and trying to find one has become a challenge.
“The No. 1 challenge has been trying to find a match based on her ancestry, and she being biracial, has been extra difficult because the registry is under-represented with African-American and other multiracial people,” said Kim Brown, Malena’s mother.
“We've had nothing but people trying to help us in any way they can,” said father Gary Brown. “When you know your daughter is going through something hard, and there are other people out there that care as much as you do and want to help her as much as you do.”
To add your name to the national registry, all you do is a simple swab test, add it to a booklet, and send it in.
“I think the hardest part as a mother is that I can't fix it,” Kim Brown said. “I need someone to be willing to save my child’s life by being her donor.”
“Well it’s not just about helping me, it’s about helping all the kids — even adults — that need it, and you can save somebody's life,” Malena said. “I think that's really important. It's such a small thing that you have to do that can be so big for somebody else.”
Those who sign up online and use the promo code “childrens” will be sent a free kit in the mail. The online registration site is at this link.