9-year-old's family hopes to make a difference with bone marrow drive

Makenzie Nance
Makenzie Nance

She's just 9-years-old and living with Sickle Cell disease.  Makenzie Nance is no stranger to the Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals.

She's already had two blood transfusions and had acute chest syndrome emissions.  But two little pills a day have made all the difference.

Hydroxyuria, which the FDA approved for adults years ago, is now proving more and more to be safe and effective for kids like Makenzie being treated at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

Her father, Reverend Nathan Nance sees it every day, "Oh my God! In our food bill! Cause she's eating more!" he jokes.

"She's eating like crazy like she's an athlete or something. So we have seen a major difference in her energy level."

Sickle cell disease is predominately found in African Americans.

In one little boy's case, he was cured with a bone marrow transplant from his donor sister.

But the Nance family knows there are far too few African Americans on a national registry at bethmatch.com, so they've already signed up 100 people for a Marrow Donor Drive at their Mount Gillion Baptist Church in Cleveland tomorrow.

"This blood drive isn't just for sickle cell patients it's for the African American community at large."

On Saturday, with her parents, Makenzie Nance could change countless lives in a matter of hours.

Blood Drive for Sickle Cell Disease for Makenzie Nance
Mt. Gillion Missionary Baptist Church
7025 Cedar Avenue
Cleveland, OH
Saturday, January 26
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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