HometownMcLennan County


4-year-old leukemia patient has months to find a donor to 'Be The Match'

Posted at 11:07 AM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 18:41:51-04

WACO, TX — For more than a year, 4-year-old Ailani Myers has been fighting for her life.

It was while visit family in Waco in the spring of 2019 that Ailani started feeling ill.

Doctors at Baylor Scott and White McLane Children's found she had acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Countless surgeries, spinal taps, transfusions, and chemotherapy sessions led Ailani receiving a marrow transplant from her dad.

The transplant worked well until recently.

"We almost celebrated her year transplant, she had three rounds of chemo left, and then P.J., Ailani‘s mom called me and said unfortunately 58% of the cancer cells were back,“ explained Beth Carrion, Account Manager with the Be The Match program.

Now, Ailani's oncologists say she has months to find a match that could save her life.

“She’s in critical right now, and we just need everybody to just go out and register with Be The Match so we can prayerfully find a match for Ailani,“ explained her Aunt Giggett Johnson.

“She has a 2 to 3 month window where we actually need to find a 10 out of 10 match for her...now with Ailani's story, because she is of mixed race, mom is black, dad is white, it’s even harder to find a match on the registry for her,“ said Carrion.

Registering with Be The Match is simple:

  • Its free to register for people from ages 18-44, and for people 45 to 61 donors pay a $100 tax deductible fee
  • Registration kits can be sent to you in the mail
  • The test consists of a cotton swab in the inside of your cheek

The Be The Match program explained 1 in 430 people are genetically selected as a genetic match.

Eighty percent of the time donors who match with patients simply give stem cells via an IV in their arm, and only a fifth of donors actually give through a procured in their leg.

“Be her hero, be our hero, in the words of Ailani 'God take this cancer away from me' so we know we need God's help as well, so that’s what we’re asking for today so just register be the match and register,” said Johnson.

To learn more and register to save Ailani, text SAVEAILANI to 61474.