ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (WJBK) - A baby born in metro Detroit has already beat all odds of survival -- but he's still in need of a major transplant.
Elias was born with a very rare auto immune disorder, NEMO deficiency syndrome. In fact, the family says only 22 other people on record have also been diagnosed with the disease.
"My son has no immune system. So, especially during this season with the flu and RSV season, we have been keeping him on lockdown at home," says Evelyn Argirokastritis.
Right now, the 7-month-old is in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant, which would give Elias a whole new immune system.
But, there aren't any matches for Elias on the bone marrow registry in the United States. Elias's father was born in Greece, and the family has even checked their registry with no luck.
"It's shocking to see him come from the hospital two months in, doing great, and all of a sudden not eat, and have to sit next to him, watching him lose weight. It's heartbreaking," says Elias's father, Antonio Argirokastritis.
The family is hoping the community will get involved and see if they're a match for Elias's transplant.
The family held a bone marrow drive Wednesday night at the Jagged Fork restaurant on North Adams Road in Rochester Hills. Hundreds of people showed up to register. The family is holding another drive on Saturday, February 10, from 3-9 p.m. at the same restaurant.
All is takes is a cheek swab to get on the registry.
As Evelyn explains, sometimes a bone marrow transplant is as simple as giving blood from an IV. In other cases, which may be the case for Elias, doctors will need to take a small amount of bone marrow through the hip, which is done under general anesthesia.
If you'd like to see if you're a match but can't make it to the bone marrow drive, you can get more information at www.BeTheMatch.org.
The Jagged Ford is located at 188 N Adams Road in Rochester Hills.