Francine Dimry, a mother of three young children, is stricken with leukemia and has only one hope for recovery: a bone marrow transplant. But the odds that Dimry, 26, will find a tissue match are one in 100, her doctors say, and possibly as long as one in 1 million.
To help her find a match, the American Red Cross is sponsoring a marrow and blood drive today in Santa Ana from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the National Sports Grill, 101 E. Sandpointe Ave. in the Hutton Centre.
Judy Iannaccone, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross's Orange County chapter, said that because Dimry is Latino and African American, finding a compatible match will be difficult. She said that Dimry's best chance for a match is someone with a similar ethnic background.
Latinos and African Americans make up only about 13% of the potential bone marrow donors on the national registry, Iannaccone said.
The Oceanside woman, whose husband, Charles, is a cornerback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has used numerous blood products to try to overcome her leukemia. Since January, when she found out she has the disease, Dimry's doctors have been seeking a bone marrow match.
The procedure to be tested is simple, officials said: A small sample of blood is taken. Marrow donors must be between 18 and 60 years of age, in good health and not excessively overweight.
Marrow donors can also sign up to be placed on the National Marrow Donor Registry at the time of their donation.
Charles Dimry and California Angel player Rex Hudler will be at the drive today to meet potential donors.
Information: (714) 835-5381 or (714) 979-0900.