10-year-old hopes for rare bone marrow donor

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Posted on September 22, 2011 at 7:01 PM
Updated Friday, Sep 23 at 9:13 AM

GARLAND – For 10-year-old Chenee Cayco, shooting baskets is quite an accomplishment. The 5th grader, who’s battling leukemia, tires easily.

Two years of multiple hospital stays, chemotherapy and radiation have left her wiped out.

“I feel nauseous… Not in the mood,” Chenee said. “I feel sick and weak.”

“We got so scared. I think we weren’t ready when the doctors told us she had leukemia,” said Melo-Jean Cayco, Chenee’s mother. “It was a shock to everybody.”

The Cayco’s, like any parents, hope for the best, but worry about their little girl.

“What goes in my mind is that [between] chemotherapy [and] leukemia, she must be in a very bad state,” said Eladio Cayco, Chenee’s father. “I don’t know if she can survive. That is really bothering us. So we surrendered everything to God.”

Doctors say the 10-year old needs a bone marrow transplant. Finding a match can be challenging under any circumstances, but Chenee is Filipino — reducing her odds significantly.

Filipino’s make up only half of one percent of all bone marrow donors nationwide.

“If the donor can come from our own race, that would be a big help,”

Dr. Jonathan Enriquez, Eladio Cayco’s doctor, heard of her plight and decided to hold a bone marrow drive.

“[Chenee] has had a tough time,” said Enriquez. “She’s undergone chemo and has been in and out of hospital with multiple complications. And so we want to do everything we can and reach out in the community and see who can help.”

And Chenee asked for help herself.

“If you would donate I would be more than happy and glad, if you donated a bone marrow for me,” Chenee said.

The bone marrow drive will be held this Sunday, Sept. 25 at the Divine Mercy Catholic Church in Mesquite from 5-7 p.m.