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Anissa and Marissa Ayala
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    Anissa born in 1971 Marissa born in April, 1990
    Resided in Walnut, California
    Anissa diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia at age 15
    Marissa conceived to provide her sister with a life saving bone marrow transplant
    Their names almost rhyme.
    Critics accused the girls’ parents of creating Marissa to ‘cannibalize’ her for spare parts.
    There was only a one in four chance that Marissa would prove a match for her sister.
    At 14 months, Marissa had a cup of marrow extracted with a needle from her hip bone.
    They inspired two maudlin TV movies.
    Anissa married when she was only 20.
    Neither Anissa's parents nor her brother had proved a suitable match for a marrow transplant.
    A two year nationwide search for a compatible donor was unsuccessful.
    The marrow extraction and transplant did not harm Marissa and saved Anissa.
    Marissa grew up well-loved and the sisters are close.
    The Anissa Foundation was created to provide financial and emotional support for leukemia patients.
    Anissa works for the National Marrow Donor Program.
    She said of Marissa, ‘If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be here, and if it weren’t for me, she wouldn’t be here either.’

Credit: Georgina

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