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Local boy in dire need of bone marrow transplant

Posted: December 5, 2008 10:58 p.m.
Updated: December 6, 2008 4:59 a.m.
The chances of Canyon High School senior Nate Sparks living are drastically reduced if a bone marrow donor is not found soon.

Sparks, who hopes to graduate with his senior class in June, was diagnosed in July with a quickly progressing form of leukemia.

What seemed at first to be a simple sore throat was discovered to be the deadly disease, leaving Sparks in the hospital most of the past three months.

Sparks, the youngest of six children, grew up in Canyon Country and played varsity football before his diagnosis.

Now confined to a hospital bed, he is completing his senior year of high school with a home-school teacher and the hope he will one day return to health.

Church friend Justin Wilson, a Canyon Country junior, can't stand by and watch his childhood friend die.

That is why he set up the City of Hope bone-marrow screening being held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at Canyon High School.

"I hope we can pull through and save him and that he will be able to survive this disease through what we are doing right now," Wilson said.

His main concern is getting as many volunteers as possible to stop by Canyon High School to be tested.

The fast, simple test done through a cheek swab will be performed by medical personnel and is free.

Wilson used his Boy Scout peers to help spread the word. The group walked neighborhoods, stood in front of grocery stores, faxed fliers, made dozens of phone calls and called radio stations and newspapers.

Potential donors must be 18 years old to volunteer.


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