Bone marrow drive held for military wife with cancer

Karina Hernandez, a nurse, mother and wife of a military officer, was diagnosed with cancer.

SAN ANTONIO — A bone marrow registry was held Sunday for the wife of an Air Force Major stationed here in San Antonio.

Karina Hernandez, a nurse at BAMC, mother and wife of a military officer, was diagnosed with a rare bone marrow cancer called Myelofibrosis back in 2017 while pregnant.

She had severe pain in her side that wouldn’t go away. Testing revealed that not only was she pregnant, she had an enlarged spleen due to Myelofibrosis.

We spoke with her awesome husband, Major Jesse Hernandez on Sunday about the challenges they have faced. 

“Her cancer has progressed to the point where she know requires a bone marrow transplant in order to save her life,” said Major Hernandez. “So today we’re running a bone marrow registry drive with the goal to find a match for my wife and maybe for other patients who are facing the same need.”

There are over 18,000 patients that could benefit from healthy bone marrow and it could save their life.

“Karina continues to work at BAMC caring for other people, all while battling cancer,” said Major Hernandez. “She has been on chemo medications the whole time and this is my opportunity to try and help her and hopefully find someone who is a match to help her.”

Her friends and family all say Karina cares more about getting people to sign up for the registry to help others.

“She is concerned that – It’s not just for herself, it’s for how many other people can be helped by this,” said Dora Lopez, one of the drive’s organizers.

Unfortunately, Hispanics do not commonly sign themselves up as donors, said her family. So it has been difficult to try and find a match for her.

“The chances of a Caucasian patient finding a matches is 79% Hispanics is a 48% chance and African Americans is only a 29% chance,” said Be The Match Recruitment Coordinator Melinda Dixon.

A bone marrow registry in her honor was held Sunday at St. Anthony Mary Claret Catholic Church located at 6150 Roft Road from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

If you missed the drive, you can still sign up for the registry by following this link or by texting Cure4Karina to 61474.

You must be at least 18 years old to register. You will not be asked to donate right away, only to swab the inside of your cheeks to send in so your DNA can be added to the national registry. if it is a match for a patient, a donation could save a life.

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