ACT: Camila seeks biracial donor

If you are biracial (Caucasian and Mexican/Latino) you could help save Camila de la Llata’s life.

Camila, 22, was about to return to California State University, Fullerton, for her senior year when she was diagnosed with acute leukemia in August. Today, she urgently needs a bone marrow transplant.

“A doctor cannot save Camila’s life, a donor can,” said Camila’s mother, Robin de la Llata, who is from Porterville.

But the search for a donor is tough. Across the country, just three percent of the 9 million people registered as donors are of Latino heritage; just four percent are biracial.

Bone marrow transplants are based on genetics, and at least nine out of 10 of a donor’s genetic markers must line up with Camila’s, said Robin de la Llata. She compared the difficulty of locating a match to finding a needle in the haystack.

Doctors are concerned that a match won’t be found in time to save Camila’s life, so the family has put out a call to action: They are urging biracial people to register immediately for the national bone marrow donor program, Be the Match, which has established a special drive on Camila’s behalf.

Biracial people between the ages of 18 and 44 years old should visit Camila’s Cure to register to be a potential donor for Camila.

“If she doesn’t find the donor, her chances of survival are severely reduced,” Robin de la Llata said.

Camila is pictured above with her father, Gabriel de la Llata, and her mother, Robin de la Llata.

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