Young West Michigan cancer patient searches for her ‘unicorn’

Posted at 10:53 PM, Jul 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-20 13:28:38-04

GRANDVILLE, Mich. -- Lola DeYoung is just like every other nine year old. She likes arts and crafts, going to movies and playing outside. And unicorns.

In fact, Lola is looking for a unicorn right now. And she’s hoping to find it on Monday, with help from a bone marrow drive.

For nearly half her life, Lola has been battling Leukemia. After two rounds of treatment and two relapses, the family is now switching up her therapy options. Problem is, they haven’t been able to find a match for Lola’s DNA – a ‘unicorn’ as Lola prefers to call it.

“There isn’t anyone in the registry – 20 million people – that matches Lola’s DNA,” said Matt DeYoung, Lola’s dad. “There aren’t many children that’ve had her same type of cancer before.”

The marrow drive will take place Monday, July 20 from 4-8 p.m. at the Harbor Life Church in Grandville. Anyone between the ages of 18 and 44 can get a swab to be a potential match for Lola – or thousands of others waiting for a marrow match in the registry.

“No matter what happens tomorrow we’ve got an opportunity to change a lot of lives,” said Matt.

The family has already tried to go inside the family for a match – hoping Lola’s younger sister would be their unicorn. But no luck. So, the family is holding out hope that Monday holds the key to a new life for Lola.

“She calls it the unicorn marrow,” said Matt, “and it’s the only one of its kind – and we’re excited to see a miracle tomorrow when we find somebody that matches.”

“It’s hard to watch her do it, but at the end of the day, she’s going to come through.”

If you can't make it to the marrow drive, click here to request a kit to be sent to your home or go to and search For The Love of Lola.