Local 1-year-old's dad giving life-saving bone marrow transplant to sick daughter

Posted at 2:27 PM, May 30, 2017

There's some good news for one-year-old Emilie Meza who needs a bone marrow transplant.

We first reported on Emilie's story in April when her parents were searching for a match.  They started Be The Match drives in Emilie's name across Tampa Bay. Emilie's story quickly spread nationwide. 

"This affects so many people so its great to know that people come together just to try to help one another," said Emilie's mom Roxi Meza.

RELATED | Family searches for bone marrow donor for their 1-year-old daughter

Be The Match Florida says there were more than 9,000 sample kits collected in Emilie's name in just a couple months. They usually get around 3,300 in a year!

"It's just really amazing all these people stepped in to help," said Roxi. "I know that if it was somebody else who needed it, I know I would be doing the same trying to help them find their match."

Even though there were so many people willing to help, none of those were a match for Emilie.  Doctors are now going forward with a transplant from her dad.  Emilie's dad is a half-match. This transplant is not ideal, but one doctor hopes it will work.

"We will go in tomorrow [May 31] where she will start chemo for about 6 days. It's a different type than what she has gotten because this one is going to kill the bone marrow," said Roxi.

RELATED | Family of local 1-year-old still searching for lifesaving bone marrow transplant

The journey won't end there though. Emilie will have to stay in the hospital for six to eight weeks to ensure no complications and then the family is going to have to stay close to the hospital for at least four months.

"If Emilie shows signs of fever or any little thing that makes her sick, we have to go immediately to the hospital, because it could be signs that he body is not taking to the bone marrow," said Roxi.

While Emilie's family is hoping her father's donation will save her life, they don't want people to stop donating... as there are still so many people in the country who still need bone marrow transplants.

To join the marrow registry, please visit: