Local women looking for bone marrow match

LA QUINTA, Calif. - Pam Johnston and her husband, Josh Myers, have been together since they were 14. They recently moved to La Quinta, after years of traveling here seasonally. 

"We left New York November 1st and did an awesome cross country road trip and arrived in the desert around November 11," Myers said. 

Days after moving to the desert to be closer to her sister, Los Angeles reporter Leticia Juarez, Pam got sick. She's been in the hospital since.  

"Then one of the doctors came in and said we are going to look at your bone marrow. That was one of the first moments Pam and I looked at each other and said this could be really serious," Myers said. 

That's where she got the devastating diagnosis. She suffers from a rare, aggressive hybrid form of leukemia and lymphoma - and needs a bone marrow transplant.      

"I was devastated because, in a way, I felt like I had failed her," her sister Leticia said. 

Not just her sister, Leticia, but no one in her family is a match, so she needs your help. 

"She is half mexican and half white. The registry for that particular ethnicity is low. We are trying to spread that for people with mixed ethnicities to come out," Myers said.      

"I know it's not just helping me, it's helping many people who need a bone marrow transplant," Pam said.

The family's already had a bone marrow drive in the Los Angeles area and one in New York. Now, they've got two planned in the desert and will keep going. Josh said it's a simple cheek swab and could save his high school sweetheart.  

"The opportunity to save someone's life. You might not get that again," he said. 

The first local bone marrow drive is Monday, January 27th at Kaplan College in Palm Springs from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The address is 2475 E Tahquitz Canyon Way in Palm Springs.

The second is Tuesday the 28th, at Santa Barbara Business College in Rancho Mirage from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. That address is 34275 Monterey Ave. in Rancho Mirage. 

You must be 18-44 years of age and in good health to be a donor. If you're in this age group, donating is 100% free.  The Be The Match organization raises money so this whole process doesn't cost you. 

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