Bone marrow drive for baby Alaina

Family hosts drives to help find match for infant with severe combined immunodeficiency

By Will Jones - Reporter

SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. - When you look at this beautiful baby girl you want to hold her in your arms.

But many of her loved ones can't.

"We want to hold our niece," says Jason Hanoush, baby Alaina's uncle. "We haven't had a chance to hold our niece because..." Jason was unable to finish his thought.

Born just a few weeks before Christmas - baby Alaina's immune system is weak. She can't fight off viruses or infections.

It's a rare condition known as SCID or severe combined immunodeficiency.

"We see her on facetime. She's laughing. She's eating. She's doing everything as a normal baby. She looks perfect on the outside," says Alaina's uncle, Mark Hanoush.

 But Alaina needs a bone marrow transplant to survive.

This little girl's aunt and two uncles organized bone marrow drives Sunday at Saint George Chaldean Catholic Church in Shelby Township and at Mother of God Chaldean Church in Southfield.

"It's so easy. You just go here and fill out the application and do the test and that's it," says Danny Essak, a resident of Shelby Township who participated in the drive.

They're hoping to find the match Alaina so desperately needs.

"If she doesn't then there's a great chance that she won't be here with us," Alaina's Aunt Summer says.

Alaina, her parents and big sister stay at their home in Grand Blanc all the time. Going out in public is too dangerous because of germs.

"Even at home the mother, the father and the big sister have to wear masks because they can't take a chance of her getting sick," says Uncle Mark.

This close-knit family is waiting for the day they can enjoy holidays and birthdays as one big family, again.

 "It's been rough on all of us. We have kids. Every day they keep asking when can we see baby Alaina. We miss her.," Uncle Mark says.

The drive runs until 10 tonight at St. George Chaldean Catholic Church in Shelby Township.

For more information on how you can help and her story, click here or here.

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