Southwest Riverside residents are asked to come out and be tested as a possible bone marrow match for a local hero.
Riverside County Sheriff’s deputy Sal Aguirre discovered he was suffering from acute monocytic leukemia on May 9, 2012.
From the moment of his diagnosis, the 41-year-old father of three has endured numerous rounds of chemotherapy and months in the hospital.
“Everything stopped for us that day. His diagnosis certainly wasn’t what we expected. (He had been) very healthy,” said Sal’s wife Kristi Aguirre.
The nature of the cancer has made Sal’s treatments particularly grueling and, despite being in remission, Kristi said that doctors have said that the cancer’s return is likely.
Therefore, a timely bone marrow transplant is crucial for Sal’s survival, Kristi said.
A bone marrow and blood drive for Sal Aguirre is planned from 1 to 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 4 at Riverside County Fire Station 7 located at 27860 Bradley Rd. in Menifee.
Testing to be a bone marrow donor is a simple process that involves dabbing a light cotton swab inside the cheek.
According to BeTheMatch.org, more than 10,000 patients in the United States are diagnosed each year with a life-threatening disease that can be cured with a transplant from an unrelated donor.
Donors are matched by heritage, so Sal’s search for an Hispanic heritage donor has the potential to be a lengthy one, Kristi said.
Once a match is made, the donor process is not the painful ordeal that many may assume, with roughly 76 percent of the procedures needed is as simple as a blood filtering process much like giving blood.
Those already part of the registry are still invited to join Friday’s event either as a sponsor or volunteer.
To learn more about Sal or to donate under his name and signup for the event, supporters can visit http://www.bethematchfoundation.org/goto/salaguirre.
Kerri S. Mabee can be reached at email@example.com. Follow me on Twitter @kerrimabee.