This is a picture of the Gomez family. They are a Mormon family living in Utah, and they are featured on this Sunday's episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on ABC. A representative of the show contacted me several weeks ago asking if I'd be interested in previewing the episode and helping to spread the word, not just about the television show, but about the cause that's behind it, and I'm not just referring to a new house.
Little Jonah, there on the right, is 7 years old. He has two very rare blood disorders. So rare in fact, that he is the only person in the world with the combination, and the only way to save his life is to find a bone marrow donor who will match him. The problem is, one hasn't been found yet. In his young life, he's already had 65 blood transfusions and been hospitalized 20 times. His health status is so fragile. At the beginning of the show, the Gomez family is living in the grandmother's basement because Jonah's medical bills have left them unable to afford a house of their own. The basement, though, has some mold, and is damp and not conducive to the clean and abundant oxygen that Jonah requires to help keep him healthy. This is a very moving episode--I was in tears several times as I viewed it this afternoon. The beauty of this little boy's spirit shines right through the screen with his broad smile and upbeat attitude. You will fall in love with him (and his amazing mother and sister) in the first five minutes of the show, I guarantee that.
But besides being inspirational and moving, this episode raises awareness to the need to increase the bone marrow donor bank. You will be so impressed by how many people volunteer to be tested to see if they are a match for Jonah. It's an easy check, just a cheek swab, and sadly, Jonah is not the only little guy on a waiting list hoping for a chance at life. There's information at the end of the episode about how you can be checked to see if you might be a match to save sweet Jonah, or another child.
I highly recommend gathering the family together this Sunday evening for this episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. You know I don't have much time, but I am so glad I made the time to watch, and I am going to get myself checked!
(I was not paid or compensated in any way for this post. I was just asked to spread the word, however I chose to do that.)