Mother Seeking Bone Marrow Donors - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Mother Seeking Bone Marrow Donors

by: Leland Kim

PEARL CITY (KHNL) - A recruitment drive to get more people to become bone marrow donors continues in Hawai'i.

For one Hawai'i Kai mom, it's a cause dear to her heart.

Marilyn Moura is a woman on a mission. She's passing out flyers, and getting people to become bone marrow donors.

"I'm here for my daughter Sharnell," she said.

With a photo of her daughter and her grandkids in hand, Marilyn has convinced people who normally would not think about becoming donors.

"I'm a mother of five. Just seeing her picture and holding her children really prompted to come in and give my time," said Whisper Faa'agi, who signed up to become a bone marrow donor.

For Marilyn, news of her daughter's leukemia was the latest in a series of personal tragedies.

"I was devastated due to the fact that I had lost my mom and my husband to cancer," she said.

The thought of losing her daughter is too much to bear.

"She's like my best friend in the whole world," she said.

But she's out here, pounding the pavement, talking to people and hoping that one of them is a match.

"I just keep praying every day and night there's going to be someone out there for her."

To become a bone marrow donor is a fairly easy and quick process.

"It took about five minutes to fill out the application and then another minute to do the actual testing," said Loren Koanui, who signed up to become a bone marrow donor.

The test involves swabbing the inside of your mouth. No needles, no blood to become a donor. But if you become a match,

"We're going to go into your hip bone, poke you with a needle to take out the bone marrow," said Roy Yonashiro, Donor Recruitment Coordinator for the Hawai'i Bone Marrow Donor Registry.

Despite the inconvenience, donors say it's worth it.

"Life is a precious thing, so I'd love to do all I can to help out," said Koanui.

And Marilyn remains hopeful.

"And I know in my heart she's going to be safe because I love her too much," she said.

A mother's love -- from one mother to another.

For more information, call 1-877-HI-DONOR (443-6667).

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