11 year-old with bone marrow condition named honorary Mercury co - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

11 year-old with bone marrow condition named honorary Mercury coach

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - An 11-year-old girl is suffering from a rare bone marrow disease, so the Phoenix Mercury are stepping up to help.

The team held a bone marrow drive before Friday's game and even made the girl an honorary coach for the rest of the WNBA playoffs.

Before their game against the Los Angeles Sparks, the team held a bone marrow registry at Casino Arizona Pavilion to help find a donor for 11-year-old Mia McPoland. The team even made her an honorary coach.

"Phoenix Mercury have taken on a new honorary coach, and her name is Mia McPoland she has diamond black anemia, so she lives off blood transfusions. Eventually, she will need a bone marrow transplant," said Aubrie Vargas.

Mia has been waiting for a bone marrow transplant since she was two years old. Her body is not producing enough red blood cells; she's had more than 100 blood transfusions while waiting for a donor match.

"The drive allows us to bring awareness to what she's dealing with, and a lot of other people and kids just like her are also dealing with," said Vince Kozar.

Folks at this bone marrow registry drive gave a saliva sample to see if they can donate.

"The registration process is just a cheek swab that puts you in the registry, if you're a match for somebody like Mia the most common way to donate now is nonsurgical," said Vargas.

The drive is an easy way for folks to give back to their community.

"Donating because I can give back it's something I have that creates naturally, why not give it to someone else," said Mollie McMahon.

The community is honoring the team as well. Phoenix Mercury Coach Sandy Brondello was just named 2014 WNBA coach of the year. They also honored Britney Griner, named WNBA defensive player of the year. 
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