Rachel Oroz says bravely that she has leukemia, leukemia doesn't have her. You would never know from her big smile, dedicated work ethic and positive attitude, that she even has leukemia.
"Even though I've been sick all this time, I never let it get me down," says Oroz. "I still work. Now I'm only working half a day." She intends to keep working, as owner of Manuel's Auto Body on 19th Street and Union Ave, [in Bakersfield, CA].
Rachel and her family are also working to find a donor who could extend her life. Her best chance at a matching donor is someone in the immediate family. But if there's no match, her hopes turn to the Latino community, her next best chance.
But only ten percent of Kern County's Latinos are registered donors, so they're asking this community to come out in full force. "Maybe we can make a difference," says her daughter, Lisa. "Maybe we can educate the Hispanic community as to why this is so important."
Rachel knows a transplant only buys her time. It doesn't cure the disease. Despite that, she forges ahead, always smiling, ready to face the challenge head on.
"You don't give in to cancer or sickness," says Rachel. "Because if you do, you're giving in, and I'm not that kind of a person."
If you would like to join the marrow registry, City of Hope will be at Manuel's Auto Body on Wednesday, October 14th, from 9am till 6pm. You need to be between the ages of 18 and 60 to sign up.
If you'd like more information about the drive, call Manuel's at 327-4941.