A SoCal man is launching a virtual search for a lifesaving bone marrow donor in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
When Rafee Alsaeegh, 45, was diagnosed with leukemia last October, he and wife Arsineh Farkissian jumped into action to find a bone marrow match.
"We were running in person drives," said Farkissian. "We would get anywhere between 150-400 people who would show up at once."
But then the coronavirus pandemic happened and with the stay at home orders the pair could no longer hold in person drives, drastically hurting his chances of finding a bone marrow donor.
"There’s always the tough days but today has been really tough for me," said Alseegh.
But the couple hasn't given up hope. They have set up a virtual drive for Alseegh through DKMS Virtual Donor Drives, a non profit bone marrow center.
"If they are eligible they can sit on their couch and swab the inside of their mouth send it right back out [to DKMS]," said Alseegh.
Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.
If a donor is matched with someone, they would go through a procedure similar to giving blood.
Alseegh said finding a bone marrow match would mean a second chance at life. He hopes spreading the word about virtual drives will cause more people to participate and increase his chances of finding that perfect match.
"This is a chance for somebody who maybe doesn’t normally have the chance to literally save a life to save one," said Alseegh.
The chances of finding a perfect match increase if you are of similar backgrounds. Alseegh is of Armenian and Chaldean descent. If you are interested in his virtual drive visit his page here.