Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

iO Exclusive Interview: Patrick Pedraja

January 30, 2010

When faced with a life-threatening diagnosis, many people struggle to remain positive. 14-year-old Patrick Pedraja’s only thought after being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, however, was how he could help other people. “I saw a TV show about a girl who passed away because she couldn’t find a marrow transplant, and I said “MOM! Let’s go do a marrow drive.” She was like “OK, cool!” And it kind of turned into this big national marrow drive with 32 cities and signing up people all over the country.”

The ambitious teenager founded Driving For Donors to travel across the country and sign up as many people as possible for the national bone marrow registry. Many leukemia patients are in dire need of bone marrow transplants but are unable to find a match due to the low numbers of registered donors. Since its inception in 2007, Driving For Donors has added thousands of new matches, raised funds to cover tissue processing fees and has already saved five lives.

For the next few months he will be teaming up with Hopeless Records and Sub City on the Take Action! tour to raise awareness for the cause. 10% of the proceeds from all ticket sales on the tour will go to further the work of the charity, and concertgoers will be able to sign up for the registry onsite. inner Orange was able to speak with Patrick about his work with the charity and the tour, and gain insight into how he stays motivated.