UPDATE: Valley teen awaiting bone marrow transplant dies

Posted: Updated:
Teen passed away on Dec. 2
azfamily.com

UPDATE:

Saulo Morris, the 18-year-old high school student who was awaiting a bone marrow transplant has died.

He recently took a turn for the worse and passed away on December 2.

ORIGINAL STORY:

PHOENIX - A medical miracle for a Valley teen.

Saulo Morris is an 18-year-old battling cancer and a bone marrow transplant is his only hope.

His family has now learned that his doctors have found a marrow match.

Saulo is no ordinary teen.

He donated the money that the Make A Wish Foundation gave him to the Doctors Without Borders program in Africa.

He is a unique young man.

While this marrow match is not a guaranteed cure, it's the news Saulo and his family needed.

Morris beat leukemia once and now, the 18-year-old is trying to do it again.

Since he relapsed a few weeks ago, Saulo has been in the hospital, waiting and hoping to find a marrow match.

"I'm really positive," Saulo said.

"I think we'll find a match."

His family just got the call they've been waiting for.

"I cant even put it into words," says Saulo's father, John Morris.

800 people became marrow donors last week at Thunderbird High School in Phoenix, hoping one of them would be a match for Saulo.

Days later, doctors found a match.

"He was amazed," says John.

"It gives him a will to fight."

And Saulo will need a strong will to get through the next step in his battle.

He's receiving heavy chemo treatments to get him healthy enough to actually have the marrow transplant.

"It's going to be tough, but I'll pull through," says Saulo.

Due to patient confidentiality rules, it's unknown whether it is a local donor or someone from the national marrow database who is the perfect match for Saulo.

But his dad says it doesn't really matter.

"Oh, I don't care where it comes from!" says John.

"We've got a match that's all that matters!It could be from New York to California, it doesn't matter!"

Saulo's family who have celebrated every holiday for the last year in the hospital will spend this Thanksgiving there, too....having more to be thankful for now that his doctors have found a marrow match.

"We're thankful he's still with us, still fighting," says John.

"Just have to figure out how to cook Thanksgiving dinner and get it down to him now."

The best case scenario is that Saulo's health will improve and he will head to Tucson in a couple weeks for the bone marrow transplant.