Roughly two dozen runners and walkers turned out Saturday to take part in the Hug From Above 5K Run/Walk to benefit Ethan Cruz, 7, of Liberty. Cruz is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and needs a bone marrow transplant to boost his chances of overcoming the dreaded disease.
Cruz was diagnosed with ALL in 2019 and was undergoing treatment when he suffered a relapse, said his mother, Esmerelda Fuertes.
“Ethan needs a bone marrow transplant so we are are hoping to find a bone marrow donor who matches him,” Fuertes said.
Cruz is the oldest of three sons of Esmerelda and Guillermo Cruz of Liberty. He attends Great Beginnings Pre-School in Liberty.
According to Be The Match, which keeps a database of DNA profiles of interested donors, every three minutes in the United States, a person is diagnosed with blood cancer and 70 percent of the patients do not have a fully matched donor in their family.
“Patients are most likely to match donors who share the same ethnic background,” according to Be The Match.
Only 46 percent of Hispanic or Latino patients find a patient. Two out of four will not find a donor in time to save their lives. The odds are more grim for black Americans as three out of four will not find a donor.
If you are interested in learning more about being a bone marrow recipient, go online to BeTheMatch.org. Text “Ethan” to 64174 to join.