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Athens Academy Students Hope 24-Hour Marrow-Thon Will Save Sick Classmate

Twelve-year-old Kajal Patel is hospitalized and in need of a bone marrow transplant.

UPDATED SCHEDULE FOR MARROW-THON:

03/27 (TUESDAY) - 4pm-8pm Omni Club; 4 pm-7pm Oconee Veterans Park Community Center; 8pm-11pm Melting Point - Family Friendly Blue Grass; 11pm - 2am Georgia Theater.

03/28 (WEDNESDAY) - 2am-6am Waffle House Downtown Athens; 6am-10am Omni Club AND the UGA Ramsey Center; 8am-3pm Athens Academy Spartan Center; 10am-4pm UGA Tage Student Center; 4pm - 8pm Athens City Hall.

You can keep up with the day through the Facebook Page for Kajal.

A sixth-grade student is fighting for her life, and her school and community are banning together to help her along the way.

According to an 11-Alive News report, 12-year-old Kajal Patel had to leave the school for treatment at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite after having two strokes since last November. Kajal has suffered from an immune disorder nearly all her life and doctors say she needs a bone marrow transplant.

Though there is a 1 in 20,000 chance of finding the right donor, students at Athens Academy are optimistic that through a 24-hour bone Marrow-thon registry drive they'll have a good chance of finding a match.  They've set up the Facebook page "Be A Hero For Kajal" and the school has posted a news release about the event, which will be held March 27-28.

Part of the drive will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 28 at the UGA Tate Student Center and, when other locations and times are added, they'll be posted on Kajal's Be the Match page and on Facebook.  They are hoping to beat the Guiness Book of World Records for most swabs collected in one day, set at 2,400 by Ohio University in 2009.

Athens Academy parents and students will also have a booth at the 5th Annual Chamber to Chamber Business After Hours at The Georgia Club on Thursday, March 22 for on the spot testing and distribution of kits.

A simple cheek swab is all that healthy potential donors ages 18-60 need to do in order to be tested, and, if you can't attend the Marrow-thon, testing kits can be ordered free of charge (promo code: Kajal) through March 31 and sent to your home within two business days.  

Watch a video narrated by Kajal's mother, Tina, about her daughter and the call to Be a Hero. And learn more about volunteering for the event by emailing heroforkajal@gmail.com or sign up here.

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