PHOTO: Areli Bahena

PHOTO: Areli Bahena

SAN DIEGO - The family of a 3-year-old San Diego boy with leukemia is hoping to find a bone marrow donor Sunday in an effort to save his life.

Areli Bahena realized something was wrong with her son Marcos when she saw repeated bruising on his body. She took him to the doctor and he was diagnosed with leukemia a few weeks after his third birthday.

He has undergone chemotherapy treatment at Rady Children's Hospital, but now doctors say he needs a bone marrow transplant to save his life, said Madhuri Mistry, spokeswoman for A3M, a national marrow donor program.

The family will host a marrow donor drive from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church at 1770 Kearney Ave., where members of the community can have their cheeks swabbed to see if they are a compatible match for the boy or other patients who need bone marrow, Mistry said.

Because Marcos is Hispanic, donors with the same racial heritage are most likely to be a match, she said.