Bronx Family Clings To Hope

Published on June 10, 2010, 7:36 pm
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At six months old, Sophia Lopez is fighting an unimaginable battle against a fatal disease. Diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), Sophia and her family are in desperate need of a bone marrow donor to save Sophia’s life.

With the help of DKMS, the world’s largest bone marrow donor center, the goodwill of Coty Inc., and local donor drives, the Lopez family holds fast to hope.

On January 6, 2010, Sophia’s parents, Mike and Denise Lopez first learned of their daughter’s diagnosis with HLH, a rare and life-threatening blood disease that affects just one in a million children each year. Shortly after finishing her first round of chemotherapy, at the mere age of 10 weeks old, Sophia went into remission. Relieved, her parents prepared for her highly anticipated baptism, but that too quickly became a test of strength and solitude for the Bronx family. In April, Sophia relapsed and returned to the hospital for treatment.

Leukemia is the leading cause of death among children in the United States. The only cure for Sophia is a bone marrow transplant – another person’s healthy cells – providing Sophia with a second chance at life.

“Baby Sophia depends on a stranger to save her life,” said Katharina Harf, Executive Vice President, DKMS Americas. “We hope that through hearing her story, people will register as bone marrow donors to save Sophia and countless other patients, who need a transplant to live.”

As Sophia continues to face ongoing chemotherapy treatments, the family continues to face hardships. Recently, Sophia’s father had to cut back on hours at work to help Denise with their sons, age 2 and 11, while health expenses piled up, from numerous hospital bills to expensive prescription costs and more.

The Lopez family’s financial woes were eased thanks to Coty Inc., a leading global beauty company and founding corporate sponsor of DKMS. Coty Chief Executive Officer Bernd Beetz presented the family with a monetary donation of $10,000 on June 9 to help off-set financial costs.

“Sophia and her family are fighting this difficult battle with strength and determination, inspiring us all,” said Bernd Beetz, Coty Chief Executive Officer. “Coty is honored to extend this donation to help ease the family’s financial worries and give the Lopez parents the time and support to focus on their family and Sophia’s recovery.”

“It’s the kindness of the community and our endless hope to find a donor that keeps our family going through these hard times,” says Mike Lopez. “Coty’s donation is just one example of the outpouring of support we have received to help heal Sophia and our family.”

Registering to become a bone marrow donor is more than a cheek swab; it is a commitment to help save a life. You must be between 18 and 55 and in good general health. When you register with DKMS, you will also be listed on the Be The Match Registry® (operated by the NMDP) and can be found as a donor match for any patient in need of a bone marrow transplant. Visit to register today.

About The Coty-DKMS Linked Against Leukemia Partnership

In October 2006, Coty Inc., a global beauty leader, joined DKMS, the world’s largest bone marrow donor center, in the fight against leukemia by establishing the Coty-DKMS Linked Against Leukemia partnership. Led by CEO Bernd Beetz, Coty has leveraged its strong celebrity partnerships to raise awareness of the disease and help recruit thousands of donors around the world. Additionally, Coty has assisted DKMS in establishing independent DKMS organizations in the Americas and Poland with plans to open offices elsewhere in Europe in the coming years. Leukemia, one of the leading causes of cancer deaths worldwide, personally affected the Coty family when the wife of longtime Coty Chairman Peter Harf succumbed to the disease in 1991.

About Coty Inc.

Coty was created in Paris in 1904 by Francois Coty who is credited with founding the modern fragrance industry.

Today, Coty Inc. is a recognized leader in global beauty with annual net sales of nearly $4 billion. Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, passion, innovation and creativity, Coty Inc. has developed an unrivaled portfolio of notable brands and delivers its innovative products to consumers in 90 markets worldwide.

The Coty Prestige brand portfolio is distributed in prestige and ultra-prestige stores and includes Baby Phat, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Calvin Klein, Cerruti, Chloe, Chopard, Davidoff, Home Skin Lab, Jennifer Lopez, Jette Joop, Jil Sander, JOOP!, Karl Lagerfeld, Kenneth Cole, L.A.M.B. fragrance by Gwen Stefani, La Voce by Renée Fleming, Lancaster, Marc Jacobs, Nautica, Nikos, Phat Farm, Sarah Jessica Parker, Vera Wang, Vivienne Westwood and Wolfgang Joop.

The Coty Beauty brand portfolio is more widely distributed and includes adidas, Astor, Beyonce Knowles, Celine Dion, Chupa Chups, David and Victoria Beckham, Esprit, Exclamation, Faith Hill, GUESS, Halle Berry, Jovan, Kate Moss, Kylie Minogue, La Cross, Miss Sixty, Miss Sporty, N.Y.C. New York Color, Pierre Cardin(1), Playboy, Rimmel, Sally Hansen, Shania Twain, Stetson, Tim McGraw, and Tonino Lamborghini.

Coty and Puig Fashion and Beauty S.A. have a strategic partnership for the distribution of the perfume lines of Nina Ricci, Carolina Herrera, Prada, Paco Rabanne, and Antonio Banderas in the United States and Canada.

For additional information about Coty Inc., please visit

1. Not available in North America

About DKMS

The DKMS mission is to save lives by recruiting bone marrow donors for leukemia patients. More than 20,000 DKMS donors have helped save lives by donating their bone marrow. DKMS is the largest and most experienced bone marrow donor center in the world with over 2 million registered donors. DKMS Americas is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information about DKMS visit


Jonas Bronck is the pseudonym under which we publish and manage the content and operations of The Bronx Daily.™ | - the largest daily news publication in the borough of "the" Bronx with over 1.5 million annual readers. Publishing under the alias Jonas Bronck is our humble way of paying tribute to the person, whose name lives on in the name of our beloved borough.