DKMS JOINS FORCES WITH “EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION” & MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER IN A NATIONWIDE SEARCH TO FIND A BONE MARROW MATCH FOR 7-YEAR-OLD JONAH GOMEZ
RSL’s Saturday Contest against Toronto FC Marks One of Seven DKMS Donor Drives Taking Place at MLS Games Across the U.S.
SANDY, Utah / NEW YORK, N.Y. (Thursday, June 23, 2011) – This Saturday, June 25, DKMS, the world’s largest bone marrow donor center will hold donor drives at Major League Soccer games in seven cities across the U.S. for 7-Year-Old Jonah Gomez, a South Jordan, Utah resident who suffers from blood cancer and needs a bone marrow transplant to survive. Donor drives will take place in Jonah’s home stadium – Real Salt Lake’s Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah – as well as Pasadena, Washington D.C., San Jose, Philadelphia, Dallas and Kansas City. Those who cannot attend and register at the games can register online at www.GetSwabbed.org.
At Real Salt Lake’s contest against Toronto FC on Saturday night, fans will be able to attend drives in a pair of locations once gates open to the public at 6:00 p.m. MT – at Kennecott Plaza (NW concourse) and on the concourse level underneath the east-side stands. Kickoff for the contest is set for 7:00 p.m. MT.
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“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is traveling to South Jordan today to surprise the Gomez family with a knock on the door that will change their lives forever. Fun-loving, impish Jonah Gomez is like any loveable, mischievous little boy in the first grade with hopes and dreams of becoming a professional soccer player. His love of life has not been diminished by the fact that he has a blood disorder that has caused him to undergo open-heart surgery. Mom Jessica and younger sister Ellie have made every effort to help Jonah live his life to the fullest.
Despite Jonah’s illness and the fact that Jessica had to give up her airline job to take care of him, tragically losing her health insurance last November - the Gomez Family has done their best to soldier on, never losing a love of life and having fun. When Jonah is healthy enough, he is playing on a soccer team and attending Real Salt Lake games, where RSL players have become his protective friends and supporters.
Although Jonah must take oxygen while he sleeps and is often not able to play outside with the extreme weather in Utah being too hot or too cold, you’d never know it from his joyful demeanor. He seems like every other kid—excited to play soccer and joke with his sister. Sadly Jonah will not survive without a bone marrow transplant from a stranger. Every day thousands of patients search the national registry hoping to find a bone marrow donor match. Only 4 out of 10 patients are lucky enough to receive a transplant.
The EMHE design team has just seven days to build a home from the ground up on an empty lot in South Jordan's Daybreak community, one that is big enough for 3 people and also provides an area for Jonah to practice soccer when the weather prevents him from being able to do so outside. The Gomez family have been whisked away on a dream vacation to Disneyland while “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” team leader Ty Pennington, designers Xzibit, Paige Hemmis and Michael Moloney rebuild the structure.
"All of us at 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' are hopeful to find a match for Jonah and are asking everyone to register TODAY to be a bone marrow donor. It could save a life," said Ty Pennington.
On Saturday, June 25, while the Gomez family enjoys their vacation in Disneyland DKMS, EHMHE & Major League Soccer will hold seven donor drives across the nation in the hopes of finding a lifesaving match for Jonah. Soccer fans will have the opportunity to get swabbed at no charge in the hopes of finding a bone marrow match for Jonah. Below please find the schedule with details.
Salt Lake City, UT (7:00 PM MST kickoff; Gates open at 6:00 PM)
Real Salt Lake v. Toronto FC
Rio Tinto Stadium, 9256 South State Street, Sandy, UT
Pasadena, CA (6:00 PM PST)
Gold Cup Final
Rose Bowl, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive. Pasadena, CA
Washington D.C. (6:00 PM EST)
D.C. United v. Houston Dynamo
Champions Club, RFK Stadium, 2400 East Capitol St., SE Washington, D.C.
San Jose, CA (3:30 PM PST)
San Jose Earthquakes v. Los Angeles Galaxy
Buck Shaw Stadium, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara
Philadelphia, PA (8:00 PM EST)
Philadelphia Union v. Chivas USA
Toyota Plaza, PPL Park, 1 Stadium Drive, Chester, PA
Dallas, TX (7:30 PM CDT)
FC Dallas v. Portland Timbers
North Concourse, Pizza Hut Park, 9200 World Cup Way, Suite 202, Frisco TX
Kansas City (7:30 PM CDT)
Sporting Kansas City v. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, One Sporting Way. Kansas City, KS
Registering to become a bone marrow donor is more than a cheek swab; it is a commitment to help save a life. You must be between 18 and 55 and in good general health. When you register with DKMS, you will also be listed on the national registry and can be found as a donor match for any patient in need of a bone marrow transplant.
The DKMS mission is to save lives by recruiting bone marrow donors for leukemia patients. More than 25,000 DKMS donors have helped save lives by donating their bone marrow. DKMS is the largest bone marrow donor center in the world with over 2.7 million registered donors. DKMS Americas is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information about DKMS and to learn more about registering as a bone marrow donor, please visit www.GetSwabbed.org
About Major League Soccer
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. Major League Soccer’s 16th season, which will feature 18 clubs each playing 34 regular season matches, kicked off on Tuesday, March 15, 2011. The 18 clubs are: Chicago Fire; Chivas USA; 2010 MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; LA Galaxy; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; Philadelphia Union; Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Sporting Kansas City; Toronto FC; and, in their inaugural seasons, Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps. An expansion team in Montreal will debut in 2012. For more information about MLS, log on to the League’s official website at www.MLSsoccer.com.
About “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”
The Emmy award winning reality program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” entering its 9th season, is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. It’s executive-produced by Brady Connell and George Verschoor. David Goldberg is Chairman, Endemol North America. The show airs Sunday's from 8:00 - 9:00 p.m., ET on ABC.
Media Contacts: Janell Vantrease/Vantrease@sunshinesachs.com/ 212-691-2800
Ter’rece Walker /Walker@sunshinesachs.com/ 212-691-2800