A little boy with a rare blood disease drew a record-breaking turnout at a Regina OneMatch bone marrow drive on Saturday.
A total of 2,925 people between the ages of 17 to 35 swabbed their cheeks and registered to be a bone marrow donor, in hopes of being a match for local eight-year-old Vonn Chorneyko, who has Fanconi anemia. The 12-hour drive broke the previous national record of 1,100.
“There was just a sense of community and pure joy — and everyone felt it. It was just the most phenomenal day,” said Vonn’s mother, Ashley.
“What a story that would be if we found him a match, right here in his own province. It would be mind-blowing.”
The family’s hoping to hear back in four to six weeks as to whether they’ve found the right donor for Vonn’s upcoming bone marrow transplant.
“If we’ve found him a match, that just gives us so much more hope that he can go through the transplant as successfully as possible,” Ashley said.
However, she added Vonn will need to go through with a transplant regardless of whether he’s found a perfect match.
Anyone wanting to join the bone marrow registry can do so in-person at Canadian Blood Services, or head online to onematch.ca to order a free mail-in swabbing kit.