Help Save The Life of an Eight-year-old SW Florida Child Battling Leukemia Searching for a Matching Blood Stem Cell Donor
Fort Myers, FL (February 17, 2021) – Edison Mall is asking our Fort Myers community to come together and help save the life of a young boy in our southwest Florida area. Jakobe “Kobe” Washington is an 8-year-old from Punta Gorda, who was diagnosed last summer with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Kobe loves baseball and played Little League before his diagnosis. He is a faith-filled child who loves singing worship music and praying for others well-being, but now he needs the prayers and support of community members. Kobe’s leukemia can be cured by a blood stem cell or bone marrow transplant, but he currently does not have any matching donors in his family or on the Be The Match Registry® and time is running out. Be The Match in partnership with Edison Mall is holding a live swab drive Saturday, February 20th, “Kobe Day”, at the Dreams + Inspirations event from 11AM-4PM in the parking lot by JC Penney’s, located at 4125 Cleveland Avenue.
Time is of the essence. “We are honored to serve our local community by using our town center for this drive for Kobe,” said Angeli Chin, Marketing Director at Edison Mall. “As a part of the southwest Florida community, it’s critical that we support one another in times of need. Now is the time for us to come together to make a difference in Kobe’s fight!”
Individuals ages 18-44 years old are encouraged to attend the drive, wear red (Kobe’s favorite color), and commit to donating to any patient they should match. Approximately 1 in 430 registry members will go on to donate blood stem cells and save a life. Participants will be instructed to register from their phones and will be given a cheek swab to painlessly swab their inner cheek. Registry members will only be called for further testing if they are identified as a potential match.
Every year, more than 12,000 patients turn to Be The Match, the national marrow donor program, to search for an unrelated blood stem cell or bone marrow donor to help cure them of blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, or blood diseases. Unfortunately, half of these patients will not find the ideal match they need – and African American patients like Kobe are least likely to find a match (only 23% of Black patients will find a fully matched donor). This is because ancestry matters in finding a match, and of the 22 million potential donors on the registry, just 4% are Black or African American. More donors of all races and ethnicities are urgently needed to help diversify the Be The Match Registry. Those unable to attend the event can text Kobe to 61474 to receive a cheek swab kit at their home.
Join Edison Mall for Kobe Day this Saturday 4125 Cleveland Avenue in Fort Myers, on the parking lot in front of JC Penney’s from 11AM-4PM. Edison Mall. Help us save a life today. For more information, please visit ShopEdisonMall.com.
About Edison Mall:
Edison Mall is Southwest Florida’s only enclosed and climate-controlled shopping destination serving the Greater Fort Myers and Naples area. The community center is home to more than 160 national and local retail, dining and entertainment options, as well as numerous events and activities throughout the year. A dynamic offering of things to do along with things to buy keeps guests engaged and returning often.
About Be The Match®
For people with life-threatening blood cancers—like leukemia and lymphoma—or other diseases, a cure exists. Be The Match® connects patients with their donor match for a life-saving marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. People can contribute to the cure as a member of the Be The Match Registry®, financial contributor or volunteer. Be The Match provides patients and their families one-on-one support, education, and guidance before, during and after transplant. Be The Match is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), a nonprofit organization that matches patients with donors, educates health care professionals and conducts research so more lives can be saved. To learn more about the cure, visit BeTheMatch.org or call 1 (800) MARROW-2
About the Icla da Silva Foundation
The Icla da Silva Foundation is the largest recruitment center for the Be The Match Registry in
the United States. It recruits over 38,000 new potential bone marrow donors every year, with a
strong focus on minority communities. Be The Match is a nonprofit that services the largest marrow registry in the United States. To date they have facilitated over 100,000 marrow and cord blood transplants and facilitated 6,660 transplants last year to give patients hope for a future. Be the Match and the Icla da Silva Foundation help find life-saving transplants for patients for over 70 blood cancers like Leukemia and Lymphoma and other diseases like sickle cell anemia.