River Park Little League Parents Donate Blood - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

River Park Little League Parents Donate Blood

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FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -

River Park Little League parents hear a plea for help and they respond. Saturday, moms and dads donated blood and joined the bone marrow registry to help a Fresno boy with a rare form of Leukemia.

Saturday, parents spent part of their day kicking back in a bloodmobile instead of the bleachers. Eric Van Valkenburg is a first time blood donor. "My son is part of the River Park Little League and they sent out an email talking about this young boy that is in bad shape medically, so for my wife and I, it was a no brainer," Van Valkenburg said.

That young boy, is two-and-a-half-year-old Hendrix Wille who we profiled a few weeks ago on the Ten O'Clock News. His aunt, Kathryn Dowis, was at Saturday's blood drive. She says Hendrix is back at Children's Hospital but his condition has improved. "He just finished his first round of chemo and he went into remission, which is a really good sign that he's not as high risk as we thought, which means his chance of survival is higher than we expected."

By late Saturday morning there wasn't an empty recliner in the bloodmobile. Donors heard the plea and answered the call. "When I was coming here to watch my son play today I thought I would come in and see if I could contribute, so I came in and donated some blood," Michelle Padilla said.

The need for blood never goes away but in Hendrix's case he needs to find a bone marrow match. "The only thing that can save his life is bone marrow, so that's why we're trying to organize even some other just strictly bone marrow drives," Dowis said.

Kathryn Dowis says the chance of being anyone's donor is only one percent. That's why the family is pushing so hard to get people to register.

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