3-year-old girl battling uncommon cancer in need of bone marrow match

3-year-old girl battling uncommon cancer in need of bone marrow match

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - She's cheery and full of smiles just like any other toddler. But 3-year-old Katy Akitake is battling an uncommon form of cancer.

Little Katy has already undergone six chemotherapy cycles for acute myeloid leukemia, a cancer normally found in adults over age 60.

She was in remission until the cancer came back in June.

Now, she's in need a bone marrow transplant. But because of her mixed ethnic background -- Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Caucasian -- it's been difficult to find her a match.

Hawaii's Bone Marrow Donor Registry is hoping an upcoming drive will be successful in finding her a match.

The registry says donors of mixed ethnicities make up only 4 percent of the national donor database, but they are hoping to expand that number.

At the upcoming "Amazing Hawaii ComingCon" at the end of August, the organization will hold a registry event to sign up donors, and potential matches for Katy.

Registering is easy and quick, the organization says. After some paperwork with basic questions, mouth swabs are taken from potential donors. The samples are then processed and analyzed for compatibility.

The organization held a previous registration event in early August, but it takes about four to six weeks for swabs to be processed, so it is not yet known if Katy has a match.

But Katy isn't the only person in need of a donor.

"She is among thousands of patients nationwide who are searching for that miracle match. So, even if you don't match Katy, you can possibly be a match for any patient in need," a spokesperson for the registry said.

Interested donors can register during the Comic Con event at the Hawaii Convention Center from August 25 through the 27.

For information on Comic Con hours and parking rates, click here.

To join the marrow registry online, click here.

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.