Couple holds bone marrow drive for baby born with no immune system

- He's only 7 months old but the parents of baby Elias of Rochester are already grateful, he's made it this far.

"My son has no immune system," said Evelyn Argirokastritis. "Especially this season with the flu, we have been keeping him on lockdown at home."

Evelyn and Antonio say when little Elias was born, he was a happy healthy baby until he was about 2 months old.

"Now all of a sudden (to see him) not eat and have to sit next to him losing weight," Antonio said. "It's heartbreaking."

Elias' parents say only 22 other people on record have been diagnosed with the same auto-immune disease. His parents are fearful daily, he'll get sick...

"There's a chance I could bring something home and not even know it," Antonio said. "Pass it along, and not even know it, pass it along and next thing you know, we're at the hospital the next day."

His parents learned little Elias needs a bone marrow transplant to build up his immune system but they say, there are no matches in the U.S. or the International Bone Marrow Registry.

 "We're doing our best to keep him healthy," Evelyn said. "Help get him to gain weight and get ready for a transplant hoping we can find a donor soon."

Doing everything they can to get the community involved, the couple held a bone marrow drive Wednesday at the Jagged Fork in Rochester. Hundreds showed up and thousands have reached out.
 
"He's battling every day so we're just trying to be the strength and rally up as many people as we can," said Kasiani Teknos, the boy's aunt.

A cheek swab is all it takes to register and if you're a match, a quick draw of your blood or doctors can take a small amount of bone marrow from your hip.
 
"If you're getting it done through your hip, that's six hours of your day," said Evelyn. "And you're saving him and giving him 90 to 100 years of life."

They family plans to hold a second drive Saturday from 3 to 9 p.m. back at the Jagged Fork. Eias' parents are hoping someone out there can help save their baby.

"Even if we do find a match," Antonio said. "I please ask that you don't stop. There is another parent out there with the same needs as ours."

"People out there are just waiting for you to get up and do the right thing," said Evelyn. "Join and help save a life."

If you can't make it to the event, you can order a kit online, it is a simple swab of your cheek. Go to http://www.cheekswab.org/join-the-registry/order-a-swab-kit-online/

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