Seneca Valley basketball game aids youth in stem cell transplant quest

A community in Pine Township, Allegheny County, has rallied together to support a third-grade student named Jax Ramirez who is battling a rare autoimmune disease called IPEX Syndrome. The fight to find a stem cell transplant match for Jax has been ongoing for two years, with more than 200 events held and over 6,000 people swabbed for potential donors. Despite finding three matches along the way, all three backed out, highlighting the challenges in finding willing donors. In an effort to raise awareness and support, a recent basketball game between Seneca Valley and Pine-Richland saw both teams wearing “Be The Match For Jax” shirts, along with cheerleaders and fans. The event was organized by Seneca Valley student Tayla Fullerton as her senior project and included half-court shots to raise funds for the Ramirez family. The community hopes to continue raising awareness about the need for stem cell transplants and help other individuals in need of transplants as well.

Jax’s mother, Missy Ramirez, expressed her determination to fight for her son while also recognizing the broader impact of events like the basketball game. She emphasized the need for second chances at life and the potential to save lives through organ and stem cell donations. Ramirez urged people to consider becoming stem cell donors, emphasizing that the National Marrow Donor Program covers all expenses for potential donors. The event showcased the power of social media and community involvement, bringing people together to support Jax and raise awareness of the importance of stem cell transplants.

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