Texas

Kobe Washington Needs Lifesaving Donors

Jacobe “Kobe” Washington’s life changed dramatically on August 10, about seven months ago. He was subsequently diagnosed with a rare disease, acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Currently, the Florida and Dallas communities are hoping to find a match for an 8-year-old blood stem cell donor that will help save his life.


What you need to know

  • Jacobe “Kobe” Washington was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer on August 10
  • The donor registration event will take place on March 6th from 10am to 2pm at the Irving Mall in Louisville and New Beginnings Church.
  • Send a text to “4KOBE” and receive a link to fill out a short registration form to join the donor list

“It means the world to us, and to all cancer patients who are experiencing the same situation that Kobe is experiencing,” said Jordan Washington, Jacobe’s father. .. “It’s amazing to know and hear that your child doesn’t match. No match in the system can save lives. His body prepares for transplantation. It’s really scary to know that he has no matches available to him. “

During a baseball family trip in Georgia, Jacobe’s parents noticed something wrong with their typical energetic son, who at the time looked “tired” and “dull.” His mother, Imelia Price, said she noticed swelling around the lymph nodes and neck along with fever. Initially, she thought it could be COVID-19 or streptococcal pharyngitis because of some of the symptoms he experienced.

“We actually intended to return from Georgia and take him to the emergency room, but decided to put him to sleep a little. When he tried to wake him up, the outside of his mouth and his lips were perfect. It was covered with these spots of red blood, “Price said. “Honestly, it looked like someone beat him during his sleep.”

For Jacobe, the past few months have consisted of numerous hospital visits, including rounds of chemotherapy. But now he needs to have a bone marrow transplant. Approximately 70% of all blood cancer patients do not have a family match and are looking for a match within the community, according to community engagement specialists at the Tressa Malone, Be The Match and Ikura da Silva Foundation I will.

“What makes Kobe even more special in finding his match is that for all African-American and black individuals, there is only a 23% chance of finding their match in the community,” she said. “So we are really looking for as far and wide as we can to find his match. It is very important to save this little guy.”

After multiple drive-through events in Jacobe’s Florida community, his parents decided to expand their search to their father’s hometown of Dallas. On Saturday, Be the Match and the Iclada Silva Foundation will host two drive-through registration events at Louisville’s Irving Mall and New Beginnings Church from 10 am to 2 pm. Fill out a short registration form, followed by a cheek swab. The more people who participate in each Will event, the more likely Jakobe will find a match.

“There are more than 20 million people in our registry, which means there are a lot of people in the registry, but I still can’t find a match for him. That’s why it’s so important. “Malone said. “The percentage of African Americans and blacks registered in the registry is actually low, so that percentage is very low. We are really looking at genetic matching and someone’s legacy is personal. Makes a difference in finding a match for. “

Malone is investigating whether all “ethnic groups” can match, and encourages everyone to join in to support a cause that calls the process “quick” and “easy.” I will.

“In fact, there are more than 6,200 patients each year working together to find a match,” she said. “It’s very common to be contacted to find that match. If someone is white, there’s a 77% chance that you’ll find a match just because there are so many individuals in the registry. I will. “

Malone further said that fear of bone marrow biopsy and lack of awareness of the importance of registration tend to be responsible for a small percentage of black registrants. However, Price argues that overcoming one’s fears sounds “scary” but can make a difference in saving someone’s life.

“At some point, weekly or biweekly, he had a bone marrow biopsy just for testing,” Price said. “So when I’m scared to have a bone marrow biopsy, I want people to think about it.”

As Kobe’s quest for donors continues, he continues to look to the future. One day he wants to be a professional baseball player or an aerospace engineer. His hobbies include doing everything, including STEM projects and using the brain and hands. His visits can be exhaustive, but Jacobe’s spirit and faith remain high.

“He’s always finding ways to grow and pierce himself,” Price said. “… One day he was very suffering and was experiencing a lot at that moment. I was sitting near him. I just listened and he was praying to God, He realized that he wasn’t praying just for himself, he said, “God, I heal all the children in the hospital so that they can go home freely, and I Can you heal me too? “

When he’s doing that, Jacobe still enjoys going to the baseball stadium to see his teammates throw around the ball. In various games, they show their love in Kobe-themed shirts and hats, letting them know that Kobe is supporting him at this time of his life. He also likes to sing church hymns and read Bible stories to stay motivated.

“Kobe has actually brought in quite a few people to join the registry,” Price said. “… Thanks to him, more than 1,000 people participated in the registry, but of all those people we couldn’t match him. But think about all the other patients, especially the children. Try it. He helps by bringing the match to the system they are waiting for, that is, the system they are looking for, so this is important for everyone to come out and this is It’s saving lives. If it’s not the life of our child, the life of our baby, it’s the life of someone else’s child. “

If you are unable to attend the event, please register the swab kit text “4KOBE” at 61474 or visit https://bethematch.org.

Kobe Washington Needs Lifesaving Donors

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