'Swab a cheek, save some lives': Jason Momoa's heartfelt plea to help boy, 6, find rare bone marrow match

Jason Momoa said, 'I get emotional when I think about it. If it's my kids or your kids.. it doesn't take much. You just got to swab a cheek'

'Swab a cheek, save some lives': Jason Momoa's heartfelt plea to help boy, 6, find rare bone marrow match
Jason Momoa made an appearance at an event at Brigham Young University, Hawaii, on October 29, to meet some of the young children in need of transplants and to help promote bone marrow registries (Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images/prideofgypsies/Instagram)
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LAIE, HAWAII: Over the Halloween weekend, Jason Momoa went back to Hawaii for a great cause. The 43-year-old actor made an appearance at an event at Brigham Young University, Hawaii, on Friday, October 29, to encourage people to sign up for the bone marrow registry. During the event, Momoa who gave a speech got emotional while saying, "You just got to swab a cheek, and you can save some lives."

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The 'Aquaman' star made quite the appearance when he rolled up on a motorcycle to crowds cheering. He paid a visit to the school to meet some of the young children in need of transplants and to help promote bone marrow registries. He did this on behalf of his longtime friend Travis Snyder, who suffers from leukemia. Among the young children were Rhyder Lopez, 6, and his brother Rhaiden, 9, who got to meet the action hero and share their heartbreaking stories with him. Both children are diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a rare hereditary condition that can potentially be fatal.

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Rhaiden was cured seven years ago thanks to a matching donor, but Rhyder is still waiting for one. He reportedly receives many infusions through a tube in his chest and must take seven medications twice a day to maintain his health. Rhyder can also be cured like his brother if they found a bone marrow transplant from a compatible donor, as per Daily Mail.

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Momoa used Instagram to share footage from the occasion and engage his 17.2 million followers with the 'Be the Match' campaign. Momoa shared his first video on Friday which showed the actor arriving on campus on a motorcycle while meeting the young Rhyder Lopez. "Mahalo Nui to @byuhawaii for hosting @bethematch it was amazing meeting everyone in Laie yesterday, mahalo to everyone who came to get swabed. Hopefully one step closer to finding a match for Rhyder Lopez & @thetravissnyder , please!" Momoa wrote in the caption.

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The video also showed Momoa meeting Rhyder's family while he was given leis, before signing a number of autographs. He also went out to meet his fans and gave a passionate speech, even getting emotional. "I love you all for coming!" he said into the microphone. He added that he would take a picture with anyone who got swabbed to try and 'Be the Match.' "I get emotional when I think about it. If it's my kids or your kids.. it doesn't take much. You just got to swab a cheek, and you can save some lives," Momoa said. "From the bottom of my heart, thank you for coming. I love you, Aloha!" he said to the group.

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He posted a second video on his Instagram two days later. "Mahalo again for everyone that took part and came down to BYU ! Please make a difference save a life, join the registry link in bio! Aloha j," Momoa said.


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Momoa was seen hanging out while two fans got swabbed as they mentioned how easy the whole process was, showing them swabbing the inside of their cheek with a cotton swab. 

Momoa's friend, Snyder, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2015. According to the National Cancer Institute, it's a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes a large number of abnormal blood cells. Matching to a blood stem cell or marrow donor is more complicated than blood type. Reportedly ethnicity counts in finding a match. Asian and Pacific Islanders only have a 47% probability of finding odds compared to the 79% chance for WHITE patients. 

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To be a part of the 'Be the Match' campaign, visit here.

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