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Community rallies to support local boy battling cancer
Dozens of community members filled the Assyrian Civic Hall Monday to register for the bone marrow registry, hoping to help out 10-year-old Dylan Givargiznia. - photo by SABRA STAFFORD / The Journal
Family, friends, and perfect strangers turned out in droves Monday at a community blood and bone marrow drive for Turlock’s Dylan Givargiznia.
The Givargiznia family is hoping one of those people who joined the bone marrow registry might turn out to be a match for 10-year-old Dylan, who is battling a rare form of leukemia.
“Even if this doesn’t help Dylan, it can help someone else’s child,” said Dylan’s father Arnet Givargiznia. “We really appreciate all the community coming out and supporting this event.”
All total, the drive brought in 131 new bone marrow registrants and 65 blood donations, which Jaime Suarez, an account manager with BloodSource, said would help about 195 people.
“That’s a huge number,” Suarez said of the bone marrow registration. “It was a very successful drive.”
Dylan himself took the turnout in stride, commenting that it was “pretty cool” so many people came out.
It takes between four to six weeks for the bone marrow testing to be completed and listed on the international registry, said marrow recruitment specialist Liz Ustick. Those who join the registry are committing to donate their marrow to anyone they match. The donors and recipients are not revealed to one another until a year after the procedure, Ustick said.
The Givargiznia family got some welcome news Monday that anonymous donors had contributed $1,000 to a trust fund set up for Dylan to offset the medical bills and living expenses.
“I want to do anything I can to bring a smile to his face,” said one of the donors.
Dylan’s father recently left his job of nine years so he could spend more time with his son, who returns to a Bay Area hospital for further chemotherapy at the end of June.
The Givargiznia family was burglarized on June 12 and lost all of Dylan’s gaming consoles and video games, one of the few activities he can still do, his dad said. The family also lost almost all their photos and videos they had of Dylan since his youth.
The photos and videos are still missing and Givargiznia asked that whoever took them, please return them and no questions would be asked.
The BloodSource heard of the theft and is donating an X-Box player to Dylan that he can take with him to the hospital, Suarez said.
Anyone wanting to make a donation to Dylan can do so at any Farmer’s and Merchant Bank. The bank has a trust fund account under Dylan Givargizina’s name. The Assyrian National Council is also accepting donations for the family and they can be reached through Carmen Morad at 681-7433.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.