Perfect bone marrow match needed for Charlotte County 6-year-old with leukemia

Published: September 21, 2022 4:49 PM EDT
Updated: September 22, 2022 8:08 AM EDT

A 6-year-old desperately needs a bone marrow transplant and must get on the transplant list by the end of October to have the best chances of a healthy life.

Gabriel Hooks is in a three-year battle with a rare form of leukemia with time being of the utmost essence.

“He’s got a lot of energy. He plays with his, you know, dinosaurs and his Minecraft and his LEGOs and oh, my gosh, Marvel, you know, he loves all of them,” Gabriel’s grandmother, Donna Cardenas said.

But, unlike most 6-year-olds, he fights for his life every day, battling leukemia.

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Gabriel Hooks smiling and happy. (CREDIT: Donna Cardenas)

“He’s been fighting cancer longer than he’s actually, I think, been alive,” Cardenas said.

Gabriel was declared cancer-free in March, but it returned in May. Doctors have said a bone marrow transplant is Gabriel’s best chance to live a long and healthy life.

Everyone in the family has been tested and, unfortunately, nobody is a perfect match. His mother is the best option, so Gabriel is set to get a transplant from Cardenas in October. But his odds of living a healthy life would rise substantially if he found that perfect match.

Doctors said Gabriel’s genetics make finding a match difficult because he is half Hispanic and half African American. Those two demographics are considered low in the match registry as compared to Caucasians. Doctors said someone with a similar background may produce a closer match.

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Gabriel Hook in the hospital receiving treatment. (CREDIT: Donna Cardenas)

The family is turning to the community for help by going on TV and social media asking everyone to consider getting tested. Someone who’s completely unaware is out there and they’re Gabriel’s perfect match. And that unknown mysterious perfect match would help save his life.

“Absolutely. It would be his one-in-a-million miracle right now,” Cardenas said.

“You’re giving a gift that doesn’t even have words, to be honest,” Cardenas said.

Click here to see if you might be that elusive perfect match for Gabriel, and help save his life.