Camila’s Cure


by Linda Castillo

#CamilasCureI heard the news about Camila de la Llata’s need for a bone marrow transplant via Facebook. Camila, 22, has Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and is need of an immediate bone marrow transplant. She is half Mexican and half Caucasian and specifically needs to find a donor of mixed race within the next 4 weeks to save her life. I was also personally contacted by a friend at the Monterey Bay Aquarium because I am of Caucasian and Mexican descent.

I had the pleasure of working with Camila’s father Gabriel de la Llata at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Gabriel is such a loving and proud father with childhood and recent photos of Camila displayed on his desk. During her college break, Camila returned to the Aquarium and would work in the Programs department. I always enjoyed seeing the father-daughter duo perform the Great Tide Pool deck summer programs. Camila’s energy, talent and passion would always shine through during her performances. Camila is a young Latina woman who was enrolled for her senior year as a theater education and directing major at California State University,Fullertonwith a promising future.

It is critical that Camila find a match as doctors have said that chemo will not cure Camila or keep her leukemia in remission. Camila has no siblings and she needs to find a non-related donor. Bone marrow donors are determined by genetics, not blood type, and because Camila is bi-racial – Caucasian and Mexican – doctors are not confident that a 10/10 or 9/10 genetic match will be found in time to save her life.  It is so important that we register because bi-racial patients like Camila have a difficult time finding a donor because according to Be the Match there is only 3% of the 9 million registry members of Latino heritage. 

I am hoping that the power of social media can help find more people of Latino heritage to register – please share this story as we need to get the word out to find #CamilasCure. Here is the link to Camila’s bone marrow drive, sponsored by the Be the Match Foundation:

I have registered at The process is simple. First you complete an online registration form and then you will be sent a packet with a special Q-tip to swab their inner cheek to see if there is a match. I hope that you consider registering to be a donor, helping spread the word about #CamilasCure or making a monetary donation at You may be the one to save her life.

Linda Castillo is the Founder and Executive Editor of She writes on topics that empower and inspire Latinas including art, motherhood, green living, culture, travel, and issues transforming the Latino community. Linda has earned a B.S. in Business and a M.S. in Mass Communications from San Jose State University.