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NM teen in need of bone marrow transplant passes away

Updated: 07/23/2014 1:51 PM | Created: 07/23/2014 1:47 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com

A New Mexico teen who inspired more than 100 community members to sign up for the bone marrow donor registry passed away on Tuesday night.

According to Kaitlyn Fishman with the National Marrow Donor Foundation, Miquela Martinez died at a hospital in Lubbock, Texas. She was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that attacks blood products produced in her bone marrow. She also suffered from severe Aplastic Anemia, which is simply described as bone marrow failure.

Michaelanglo Morse, an admin for Fight for Miquela Donor Drive Facebook page, said Miquela was unable to find a life-saving bone marrow transplant match on the donor registry list of 25 million people.

After learning that the Hispanic population is one of the most underrepresented ethnic groups on the registry, Miquela's friends and family organized several drives to get people to sign up to be donors.

Even though Miquela was unable to find a match, Morse says Miquela's drives have helped increase the number of donors for other people in the community suffering from similar diseases.

"Everybody who does a sample for Miquela, their name is put on the national registry. By them doing it for her, it gives so many more people the opportunity... Somebody from this community is going to be much, much more likely to have a match now due to them being on the registry," Morse said.

You can find out how to be a donor at http://bethematch.org.


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