Former Ag Asks Community to Donate Bone Marrow to Save Lives

By: Alex Villarreal Email
By: Alex Villarreal Email

You have the chance to save lives by participating in a bone marrow drive that starts tomorrow.
It's in honor of a 7 year-old boy, who has been fighting a battle with leukemia for two years, and his mother, who is an Aggie alum.
We show why it is so important for people to donate.

Zach Guillot is seven years-old.
He loves being with his family and playing make-believe.

His mom Julie, who's an Aggie Alum, says most of the time, he's a handful.

"He's notorious here at the hospital. He likes to do sword fighting, fight with his light sabers, shoot the doctors with foam Nerf guns," said Julie Guillot.

These days, Zach pretty much spends all his time at the Children's Medical Center in Dallas.

Guillot said, "I started noticing he had a lot of bruises and he had a lot of other symptoms like a mouth sore and a lot of fever."

Two years ago, a blood test revealed Julie's vibrant baby boy had acute myelogenous leukemia, a cancer that affects blood and bone marrow.
Zach needed a bone marrow transplant, and he found a donor in his younger brother, who was three at the time.

"He was fantastic, for a year and a half, on no medicines, totally back to normal," Guillot said.

Last November though, they received more bad news.

Guillot said, "Just before Thanksgiving of 2011, he relapsed with AML."

Now, he'd have to go through a second round of chemotherapy.

"The doctors determined his best treatment was a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor and that is his real chance for a cure," said Guillot.

Just like anybody, he has his weak moments, but this little boy is a trooper.

Guillot said, "Zach can be cured by this, and nothing else. You know, the doctor said the chemotherapy's not his cure...and for a lot of people, without the donor, there can be no cure."

Because of someone registering to become a bone marrow donor, Zach is in remission, happily sword fighting again.

The Texas A&M Cancer Society is hosting a bone marrow drive at the university's REC center, starting Thursday through Friday.
The drive is from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
In most cases, the donating process is like giving blood.
Statistics show, on average, only four out of ten patients find their life-saving match.

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