Brandenburg girl finds marrow donor through 'Be the Match' program


by Brooke Katz

Posted on August 30, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 30 at 5:01 PM

BRANDENBURG, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A 7-year-old Brandenburg girl is fighting for her life, battling an especially aggressive form leukemia.

Meena was diagnosed with the disease when she was just 4-years-old, and her life since has been endless hospital stays and chemotherapy. Recently, she underwent experimental treatments that put her in remission, but as soon as she stopped the treatments she relapsed, causing the cancer to become more aggressive and it spread to her brain and spinal cord.

Little Meena now has new hope. Her doctors found her a bone marrow match using the registry "Be the Match."

“It’s her only chance,” Rebecca Ohanian-Samarin, Meena’s grandmother, said. “The bone marrow transplant is the only hope she has of surviving cancer.”

It’s a miracle for Meena, and it’s one that wouldn’t be possible without the registry and those willing to be donors.

“Not only does she have a donor, she has a perfect match,” Ohanian-Samarin said. “So whoever this person is, thank you.”

Meena’s doctor said her prognosis is good now that she’s getting the transplant.

You can help save a life like Meena’s. WHAS11 and Be the Match are partnering with Kia Cares and Norton Healthcare at the Bike to Beat Cancer event. It’s Sept. 21 at Norton Brownsboro Hospital. You’ll be able to get on the registry there with just a simple cheek swab.

Click here for more information on Be the Match.

You can also help out Meena and her family. They all live in Brandenburg, so to help with travel and accommodation expenses Meena’s family has set up a fundraiser at First Federal Bank in Brandenburg. You can mail in donations made out to Miracles for Meena to 416 Broadway Street, Brandenburg, Ky., 40108.