Cool Kid Oscar Ayala saves brother's life, helps family financially

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Our ABC7 Cool Kid for Thursday, June 15, is Oscar Ayala, an 18-year-old who donated his bone marrow to save his older brother's life.

Oscar's brother was diagnosed with leukemia and Oscar was the only one in his family who was a bone marrow match.

"The moment when they said I was compatible and they said that I was able to do it. I just said yes because I wanted to get it done so he could be better and be cured," he said.

He said he'll never forget the moment he walked into the hospital room for the life-saving procedure.

"I felt nervous because what if the procedure would have gone wrong. They said there was a 30 percent chance that he could have died," he said.

After being sedated and waking up a few hours later, Oscar said he received the good news that the procedure had gone well. His brother is now in remission.

But not only did Oscar save his brother's life, he's now making a difference in the community and helping his family out financially. After school four times a week, he drops his pen and picks up a tool to work with the Los Angeles Conservation Corps.

"We do a lot of urban conservation. That goes from cleaning dirty alleys, doing this type of work, planting trees," said LaShawn Kelly, with the corps.

Kelly, who's in charge of the clean-and-green program, said Oscar sets an example for other students.

"He's a leader. I saw it in him. I always knew he was a special kid," she said.

Oscar graduated from the City of Angels Independent Study School last week. He is now working full time and taking care of his brother. He offers words of encouragement for any other child going through a tough time.

"Just have faith," he said.
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