"It's giving him a chance."
Jason Ross is paid by the folks at KHTK to get to the point, to convey his thoughts clearly and make sense of his opinion on any given topic. But the well-respected radio man wasn't talking about an athlete in the above quote. He was talking about his son, Jackson.
The seven-year-old has a chance in this his second battle with Leukemia because he has a bone marrow match, one that took just four weeks to find and will lead to an early April procedure that Ross, his wife, Alva Toca, and their only child so desperately hope marks the beginning of his comeback.
It would make it all worth it - the endless chemotherapy, the radiation and the 50-plus days in the hospital since October - if only they could see hair on his happy head again and have him healthy. Yet while their situation remains unfair and so very frightening, the fact remains that they are already better off than countless families facing similar circumstances.
KHTK, with the support of the Kings, will attempt to change that today. When the doors to Tuesday night's Kings-Lakers game open at 6 p.m., the folks from BloodSource will be on hand to swab your cheek and sign you up for free as a willing bone marrow donor in their "Be The Match" program. Head to the Sports 1140 tent at the main gate for more information and sign up on the arena concourse.
The Kings themselves started things off right after Monday's practice, when Andres Nocioni, Donte' Greene and Francisco Garcia were all swabbed and became hopeful donors. Individuals may also register online at www.bethematch.org and use the BloodSource code Month10 (January10, February10, etc). Registrants with diverse ethnic and racial heritage are especially needed. For those who join online, a swab kit will be sent to the home address. For more information about marrow registry, go to the BloodSource website www.bloodsource.org or by calling 866-822-5663.
While fees are being waived for this free event, it does cost the company approximately $100 for each new Be The Match registrant and contributions are appreciated. The donations to support marrow registry are tax-deductible. Call 916.797.4526 or 916.453.3717 to make a financial contribution in support of marrow registry. - Sam Amick