San Rafael Pacifics baseball team holding bone marrow donor drive for young leukemia patient

Saturday, July 6, 2019
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The San Rafael Pacifics baseball team are hosting a bone marrow donor drive in the hopes of finding a match for 15-year-old Marin County leukemia patient.

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) -- The San Rafael Pacifics baseball team is hosting a bone marrow donor drive Saturday in the hopes of finding a match for 15-year-old Marin County leukemia patient.

Minor League Baseball is a long hard road, especially at the independent level.

RELATED: East Bay family launches national campaign to save life of 5-year-old who needs bone marrow transplant

The Pacifics, for instance, have no connection to a major league team. But this is a place for optimists, even with long odds.

"If anyone knows long odds, it's an indy baseball player," said outfielder Axel Johnson.

Because he appreciates long shots, he'll take one in the cheek Saturday night -- a medical swab that might benefit 15-year-old Daniel Rose, fighting an even tougher uphill battle.

"I don't think anyone should have to go through this," said Daniel.

RELATED: Leukemia patient turns lemons into record-setting donor registry

Daniel has a rare form of Leukemia. Until January, he was just like any other freshman at Marin Catholic High School, and his mom has the pictures to prove it.

"Yeah, that is two months before diagnosis..."

But Leukemia treatment has evolved. Bone marrow transplants now cure 90 percent of all patients, but Daniel's case is an outlier.

The family needs to find that one-in-a-million or two million genetic match for a donor. And in a hurry. "If he goes out of remission, there is no confidence they can get him back in remission," said Daniel's mother, Kathryn.

So on Saturday night, the Pacifics will sponsor a donor drive, not only for Daniel, but also for many others like him around the world. The team and family want fans to donate swabs to a world-wide bone marrow data base, looking for a match. The cure could be as simple as donating blood.

"What you give up is not much, and for any person, it could save a life," said Daniel.

"When does the worry stop?" we asked Kathryn.

"It doesn't."

At least now, they have help in acting on it.

"When you hear how hard it is to find a match, you've gotta' step up to the plate," said Axel Johnson.

Long odds shortened.

The Pacifics hope to have several hundred people Satruday night and the team owner said if you participate in the donor drive, admission to the game will be free.

If you can't make it, you can still do one of the cheek swab tests. Just register at this website.