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Youth fishing program sponsors bone marrow drive for 4-year-old

October 15, 2009 |  9:19 am

Maya*Updated to correct spelling of Maya Chamberlin's name.

The 976-Tuna Youth Fishing Program is sponsoring a bone marrow drive hoping to find a match for 4-year-old Maya Chamberlin of Torrance.

Maya was diagnosed Sept. 14 with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, a rare disorder that, without treatment, is usually rapidly fatal. Even though it's not cancer, she will have to undergo chemotherapy.

"All we need is a quick and painless swab to see if you are a match," said 976-Tuna founder Philip Friedman.

Maya is the niece of Dr. Dave Patel, who is involved with and has done much for the youth fishing program, which introduces children to the enjoyment of saltwater fishing and hopes to instill in them an appreciation of nature and the marine ecosystem of Southern California. Many participants have never had the opportunity to go out on a boat or drop a line into the ocean.
A little about Maya: She is an avid reader and some of her favorite books include the Berenstain Bears series, "Amelia Bedelia" books, and "Green Eggs and Ham" and other Dr. Seuss titles. She is also passionate about recycling and the environment in general. 

To help, e-mail Philip at Philip@976-Tuna.com or call (310) 328-8426.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo of Maya courtesy of 976-Tuna