Mar 31, 2010 12:14 AM by Monica Quintero
A local family shared their emotional story in hopes of encouraging Central Coast residents to register as a bone marrow donor. Madelyn Cofield, 15-years-old, was recently diagnosed with leukemia and her family feels fortunate to have found a match. The match is her 12-year-old brother Nathan.
Warren Cofield, Madelyn's dad, said, "Our journey is to get Maddy well and it's not easy." She's been out of school now for five months battling leukemia.
Madelyn Cofield said, "For the first two months it didn't really sink in. Then, when my hair started to fall out, it did sink in."
Warren Cofield said, "The teenagers, I think it really affects them more because they're young freshman in high school. Everything is ahead of you and now she's told she's going to miss school."
But there is one thing ahead for Madelyn that her family is thankful for, her little brother Nathan was a bone marrow donor match. Margaret Cofield, Madelyn's mother, said, "When we found out he was a match of course we cried because we were so happy."
In the process, the Cofield's found out how easy it was to be tested to see if they're a match. One way, is a swab of cheek cells. It's painless and could save a life. Warren Cofield said, "You meet these parents who don't have the opportunity for their kid to have a match and it's tough."
They leave next Saturday for Stanford for the bone marrow transplant and now Maddy and Nathan are even more grateful to have each other.
The Cofield's said their whole family was tested but they drew blood for their tests. They also said siblings have a 25-percent chance of a match and they feel blessed Nathan was a match.
A benefit BBQ will be held for Madelyn. It will take place April 17th at the CVS shopping center on Bradley Road in Santa Maria from 11 am to 3 pm. There will also be a bone marrow drive the day of the barbecue.
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