Amaya was enjoying her sophomore year of high school when she started feeling ill.
“We had color guard practices and I felt awful,” she said. “I was almost fainting. I needed to sit down or else I was going to black out.”
As doctors tried to understand what was happening to Amaya, she needed blood and platelet transfusions to help her feel better.
“I needed blood two times a week, at one point,” Amaya said.
In February 2019, she was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder called aplastic anemia.
When someone says ‘anemia’, well OK, she needs blood,” said Ernestine, Amaya’s mother. “But then her doctors started to educate me about what that was about. That started to scare me.”
Now, doctors say her best chance of a cure is a marrow transplant. To receive a transplant, a patient must find a matching donor on the Be The Match Registry—someone who has the same genetic tissue typing of the immune system as they do.