Parents hope bone marrow drive can help infant son survive

Deklan Galvanek contracted H1N1 in February and now he's suffering from a potentially fatal disorder.
March 13, 2014 7:45:26 PM PDT
The parents of 9-month old Deklan Galvanek are pleading for people to come to the ABC 11 Match Madness Bone Marrow Donor Drive this Saturday.

Deklan's family members have been donating blood, but his mom and dad worry if they aren't a match, they may have to turn to the bone marrow registry.

In the last month, Deklan has been treated at three Triangle hospitals. Currently, he's at Duke waiting on a life saving procedure.

"I was sitting in the rocking chair last night with him just looking around, and it just really made me sad that we're not at home in his room where he should be," said Deklan's mother, Jenna Galvanek.

The Cary parents are desperate to save their son's life. He needs a bone marrow transplant to survive.

"We never thought that we'd be here, but here we are," said Jenna.

Deklan contracted H1N1 in February. After weeks of not getting better, doctors discovered he had a rare and potentially fatal disorder called "severe combined immunodeficiency." It is sometimes referred to as "bubble boy disease." It means Deklan basically doesn't have an immune system to fight off viruses and bacteria.

His parents have been tested to see if they are a match for a transplant.

"I'm angry that it had to come to this to be found," said Jenna, "and the chances that the transplant takes -- the longer that you wait -- the statistics just aren't as good."

If neither Deklan's mom nor dad can help, they will then have to look to the donor registry and even with that there's no guarantee

"It takes a long time to look through the donor registry to find a good match and then sometimes there's not even a good match," said Jenna.

In the meantime, Deklan's mom says the battle could have been avoided. Some states are involved in a pilot program that screens infants for the disorder. However, North Carolina is not one of them.

The family is urging state lawmakers to require screenings.

Meanwhile, Match Madness is Saturday, March 15 at noon at the Raleigh Saint Patrick's Day Parade and Festival. To register, you have to be between the ages of 18-44, and in general good health.

Click here for more details on the event.

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