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Maria’s Taco Xpress Tries to Save a Life

Benefit also raises awareness of bone marrow transplants

By William Harries Graham, 2:30PM, Fri. Feb. 14

Maria’s Taco Xpress Tries to Save a Life

Last June, a staff member at Maria’s Taco Xpress on South Lamar, Vincente Pedroza, 21, starting feeling weak and noticed unusual bruises on his legs. He was diagnosed with Leukemia. Aggressive chemotherapy didn’t work. The only thing that can save his life now is a bone marrow transplant.

Tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 15, Maria’s is hosting a “Be the Match” event for Predroza with the National Marrow Donor Program. They’re urging Hispanics/Latinos and African-Americans to come get tested for potential donorhood. Less than 10% of the donor bank are matches for the Hispanic community.

The event also raises awareness that Anglos can’t donate for Hispanics. The DNA must match. Xpress owner Maria Corbalan is giving away a free taco to every person that comes in to be tested from 10am-3pm. The test is a simple mouth swap.

Later, 5-9pm, there’s a music beneift. My father, Jon Dee Graham, and his band have been added to a bill that was already scheduled for Maria’s Music4Music night, a twice monthly event of young bands raising money for communities without music programs. Saturday’s bill includes my band, the Painted Redstarts, 24-7, Hunter Sharpe, Io Hickman, the Gregs, and recent American Idol contestant Ariel Herrera, accompanied by first place Jam Fest pianist Joey Listrom.

All funds raised go to Pedroza’s medical costs. This event could save his life. Taco Xpress manager Oscar Fernandez urges action.

“Pedroza’s in critical care. If we don’t get the match for him, the doctors are giving him about four weeks to live. He really needs it.”

Spread the word to the Hispanic and African-American communities of Central Texas. Help save a life!

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