two-year old boy with a rare blood disease desperately needs your
help. Dakota Kwiecinski's only chance for survival rests on bone
marrow transplant, but his Caucasian and Navajo Indian genetic lineage
makes finding a donor a long-shot.
suffers from hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, commonly called
HLH. Dakota first developed symptoms of the disease that triggered
HLH last February. Then, after weeks of fevers over 104 degrees
Fahrenheit, Dakota's eyes rolled to the back of his head, his skin
turned yellow, and he had difficulty responding to the sound of
his mother's voice.
late March, Dakota's family entered a room full of pediatricians
of varying specialties sitting in a circle who explained Dakota
had been diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, or HLH.
It is a rare life-threatening disease that primarily attacks children
at a very early age. This destructive disease is often triggered
by an infection that appears non-threatening. However, HLH must
be treated aggressively, often with chemotherapy, and control of
the disease, if achieved, is temporary. Without treatment, the disease
will return and claim another life.
intense chemotherapy regimen set the disease into remission, but
doctors say if a bone marrow donor is not found it is unlikely Dakota
will survive the next year.
response to this news, bone marrow drives appealing to potential
donors of Native American and mixed race ethnicity in the New York
area will be held on July 22, 2003
at the American Indian Community House, 708 Broadway, 8th Floor,
in Manhattan, from 10am to 2pm. There are about 20,000 people of
Native American ancestry living in the five boroughs. Another drive
is scheduled for July 26, 2003 at the
25th Annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Powwow to be
held at the Queens County Farm Museum at 73-50 Little Neck Parkway,
Floral Park, Queens, from 12pm to 5 pm.
addition, a series of donor drives aimed at the Navajo communities
in New Mexico-Dakota's home state-will be held later in July. In
Michigan, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians held a bone marrow
registry drive and a blood drive on July 5th at their Annual Powwow
to help find a donor match for Dakota and other Native American
marrow transplants offer the only chance of a cure for this disease.
Dakota's greatest difficulty here is finding a matching bone marrow
donor. While Dakota's search focuses on Native American and mixed
race donors, his match may come from a donor of any ethnicity. Volunteering
to become a donor increases the odds for every child in need of
this life-saving procedure.
wanting to donate to the Dakota BMT Fund in care of Bank of America
can go to http://www.dakotakwiecinski.org/donations.html.
Visit Dakota's website at http://www.dakotakwiecinski.org
to learn more.
NAVAJO NATION VICE PRESIDENT
PLEDGES SUPPORT TO FIND BONE MARROW DONOR FOR NAVAJO BOY
President Frank Dayish, Jr. and Shiprock Chapter President Duane
"Chili" Yazzie have teamed up to help little two-year
old Dakota Kwiecinski in his nationwide search to find a bone marrow
donor and more importantly a match. Both leaders have pledged their
support and will be getting tested Wednesday, July 16th at the Northern
Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock.
"My wife and
I are very concerned about Dakota's future and his quest to find
a bone marrow donor match," said Vice President Dayish. "I
would like to challenge all Navajo leaders and tribal employees
to get their blood tested."
Dayish said he is
planning a motorcycle run in honor of Dakota's birthday celebration
on August 2nd at the fairgrounds in Window Rock. He also wants to
invite everyone to join him in finding a donor match or assist with
medical expenses by making a monetary donation.
Kathleen Holmes said Vice President Dayish and his staff have been
a tremendous help in getting national attention and assistance for
her grandson's life or death condition. She said Dakota's only chance
for survival against this rare blood disease, hemophalgocytic lymphohistiocytosis,
commonly called HLH, is a bone marrow transplant.
"We are asking
our Navajo people to take a few minutes out of their day to help
one of our own." Yazzie said. "This little boy is fighting
everyday to celebrate another birthday and it's up to us to help
him get there."
is half-Navajo and half-Anglo and lives in Queens, New York with
his mother Tristian Kwiecinski (Kwaa-chin-ski) and his stepfather
Christian Regnaudot. His biological father is Navajo from Newcomb,
Bone Marrow Drive
2 Fairgrounds Dakota's Birthday Celebration
8:00am-4:00pm Window Rock, AZ