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Donor Drives Organized Around Tri-State To Find Match For 4-Year-Old Leukemia Patient Ayden Paredes

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A number of blood and donor drives are being held throughout the Tri-State Area in August to help save the life of a little boy with leukemia.

Four-year-old Ayden Paredes loves to play in the park, but playing video games is the next best thing while he undergoes chemotherapy treatment.

"I like Nintendo Switch," Ayden told CBS2's Natalie Duddridge.

His favorite character is Sonic the Hedgehog.

"He was diagnosed first on February 7 with B-cell (ALL) leukemia," said Barble Paredes, Ayden's mom. "I think we're just in survival mode at this point. It's not really a quality of life, especially when he gets pricked and tested."

Ayden's mom and dad, an NYPD officer, are hopeful a cell infusion could be the cure. The procedure is scheduled for next week.

"If it doesn't work, which we're hoping it does work, if it doesn't, that's where our last resort would be the match," said Mark Paredes, Ayden's dad.

Doctors say Ayden will most likely need a stem cell or bone marrow transplant to save his life.

"As a minority, it's very difficult to find a match," his dad said.

Experts say patients are most likely to match with donors who share the same ethnic background.

"In Ayden's case, he's predominantly Hispanic. He's Puerto Rican, Guatemalan and Colombian, and he's also Eastern European. For a Hispanic patient, his chance of finding a match is only 48%," said Dr. Ron Jacob from Be The Match, a nonprofit.

The New York City Blood Center and Be The Match teamed up to host eight blood and marrow stem cell donation drives. They started Monday at the FDNY Academy at Fort Totten Park in Bayside, Queens.

Anyone 18 to 44 years old can register. All it takes is a swab of the inside of the cheek. Then just wait for the results.

So far, Ayden hasn't matched with anyone in his family or the registry.

"If they want to donate, they can just text 'Ayden' to 61474," said Ayden's mom.

His parents are staying positive and hope their son can get back to being an energetic boy who can't wait to play at full speed again.

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