ALBANY -- Baylor Fredrickson loves math and Greek mythology, as all 7-year-olds should. The second-grader also has acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), a blood cancer that is very rare in patients his age.

"He's the sweetest boy you'll ever meet," said his mother, Shari Nihei Fredrickson. "He's very energetic, he's very athletic."

This is the second time Baylor has gone through treatment for his cancer. He will eventually need a bone-marrow transplant and a series of bone marrow registry drives have been set up in the Bay Area in hopes of finding a match.

Albany High School will host one from 2-6 p.m. May 10 outside the gymnasium.

Another will be held on 11 a.m.-4 p.m. May 11 at the Mother's Day Stroll at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek.

Flier being circulated to help 7-year-old Baylor Fredrickson find a marrow match.
Flier being circulated to help 7-year-old Baylor Fredrickson find a marrow match.

UC Berkeley hosted one this past week and will host another from noon to 2 p.m. May 14 at Shared Services at the Bancroft entrance to the campus.

Another is scheduled at the Asian Street Heritage Celebration, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. May 17 at Larkin and McAllister streets in San Francisco on May 17.

Baylor first was diagnosed two years ago. After several months of chemotherapy treatments, the cancer went into remission in July, 2012. His blood draws began showing signs of the cancer returning recently.

"It's just back," Nihei Fredrickson said. "The thing is they just can't do chemo again because obviously that didn't work. So he has to have a bone-marrow transplant."

Baylor is currently in the hospital and finished a second round of chemotherapy earlier this week. So far, Nihei Fredrickson said, Baylor is in good shape physically, but it is the period right after chemotherapy that can be tough.

According to cancer.org, AML is uncommon before the age of 45. Just under 19,000 new cases are expected to be diagnosed this year and 10,400 people are expected to die from the disease. Younger patients tend to do better with treatment than older patients.

Fredrickson is of mixed heritage (German and Japanese), which complicates matters. Marrow donors must match with the patient, and matches are often (but not always) tied to ethnicity.

His older sister has about a 25 percent chance of matching Baylor. She took the test last week and the results will not be known for about 10 days, according to Nihei Fredrickson.

People of all heritages are encouraged to take the donor test because people of all heritages suffer from various forms of leukemia.

The Asian American Donor Program, a nonprofit organization based in Alameda, hs been working for 24 years to encourage more people of Asian heritage to sign up and to raise awareness about the shortage of donors of various ethnic origins.

Nihei Fredrickson said the test is easy. Potential donors are asked to fill out a form and then are swiped by a swab.

"It's pain free," she said.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of her son's condition.

"It's a long road," Nihei Fredrickson said. "A road a second-grader should not have to go through."

People interested in setting up a marrow drive with the AADP can call 800-593-6667. To find out about other drives in the area, go to www.aadp.org.