EL PASO, Texas – Dak Lopez was diagnosed with leukemia in April. He is currently in remission, but will be in the hospital for a month or so undergoing a second round of chemotherapy. Then the next step is to get a bone marrow transplant for the four-year-old.
“It’s the most important thing we have to follow,” Dak’s father, Adam Lopez, said. “A bone marrow transplant is your only cure, it’s the only possible way to never be completely saved.”
The problem is, they can’t find the perfect match. Heritage is important when it comes to finding a match, but only 2 percent of the current donor group is Spanish.
“I hope to build this pool not just for Dak, but for other people who need it from the Hispanic population,” Dak’s aunt Yvonne Lopez said.
In an attempt to “build this pool,” Yvonne, with the sponsorship of the El Paso Sports Commission and volunteers from the El Paso High School, launched “Drive for Dak.” More than 170 people joined the pool. A large percentage of them come from the high school sports community.
“We’re in the children’s business and in our profession it’s a very close profession, a kind of fraternity if you will,” said Rubén Torres III, a former coach of Yselta, El Dorado and Franklin. “Especially when one of our kids is going through a tough time, the coaches will come together for that.”
“Even though we compete against each other, it’s still like a brotherhood and we all see each other and see each other differently and we’re just trying to help where we can,” football coach Oscar L González told Riverside.
Adam played football for the Riverside Rangers, then began his coaching career there before moving to Pebble Hills and eventually taking his coaching skills to Highland Park in Dallas.
“I’m speechless, almost speechless,” Adam said. “There are a lot of great coaches in El Paso, but there are even better people and I’m very grateful and grateful to everyone who came out because it means the world to us and again, it’s our only hope to save Dak “.
If you missed your trip, it’s not too late to get into the pool yet, just sign up and get a home kit.