Students join bone marrow drive to help five-year-old girl with leukemia

VAUGHAN, Ont. – Students in several Ontario schools are throwing their support behind a five-year-old girl suffering from a rare form of leukemia.

A bone marrow swab drive was held today at Westmount Collegiate Institute in Vaughn, Ont., – one of six schools to hold the event in hopes of finding a match for Sarah Watkin, of Thornhill, Ont.

Watkin’s mother, Leah Watkin, says Sarah was diagnosed with leukemia last October and has since undergone four rounds of chemotherapy, has had more than 50 blood transfusions and is now in remission.

But Leah Watkin says her daughter has relapsed once before so her family is looking for a bone marrow match in case it happens again.

Today’s bone marrow drive was organized in co-operation with OneMatch, a network which finds and matches stem cell donors with patients.

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Many students and supporters have joined a social media campaign in support of Sarah, and the hashtags #getswabbedforsarah and #hopeforsarah have been retweeted by many, including celebrities such as Ellen Degeneres.

Another bone marrow drive in Sarah’s name will be held at First Canadian Place in Toronto on Tuesday.

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