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Rare disease has Mustang family seeking ‘perfect match’

BY BLAKE MOSES Published: March 18, 2010
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Korben Morrow’s family and friends hope to meet his "perfect match” on Sunday in the form of a bone-marrow donor candidate.

Korben, 2, needs a bone marrow transplant to fight a very rare disease called juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia, which his doctor said affects fewer than 1 in 1 million children.

There are only 25 to 30 known cases in the United States.

"We were told by our doctor that she had only seen three cases,” said Rachel Morrow, 23, of Mustang, a former nursing student who had to withdraw from her classes after her son’s diagnosis.

On Sunday, a fundraiser featuring a silent auction is planned for 6 p.m. at America’s Pub in Bricktown. Participants also can help by donating mouth swab samples, which will be tested for the critical DNA criteria, event organizers said.

The silent auction will feature a variety of goods and services donated from the likes of national sports celebrities to local good Samaritans and businesses, organizers said.

Korben had been in a medically induced coma since Jan. 26 but was brought out Monday. His mother said he has confounded doctors at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, who at one point in February thought he would not live through the night. He remained in critical condition Wednesday, a hospital spokesman said.

His tiny hand occasionally lifted from his hospital bed for his mother’s fingers to hold as he came out of the coma.