Marcus Smith is waiting for a bone marrow transplant to keep him alive.
Leukemia has taken its toll on the small Fontana boy.
The 5-year-old, who loves animals and drawing, is excited about Christmas and hopes he'll be home from the hospital in time for the holidays.
Marcus was diagnosed with life-threatening leukemia in July. He improved with treatment but then relapsed in October.
"There's not a good prognosis if he doesn't find a match. We're just praying he won't go backwards," said Marcus' mother, Antoinette "Toni" Smith.
"As parents, we love our children but we take it for granted they will be around forever," said Smith, a single mother with three children. "We need to hug them a little
Armani Trice, 5, of Moreno Valley, also was diagnosed with leukemia this year.
Both are extremely ill and both are in desperate need of bone marrow transplants in an effort to cure their debilitating illnesses.
A Bone Marrow Registry Drive is set for noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at Rock Honda Dealership in Fontana.
The "Be the Match Foundation," which is hosting the drive, is helping to find a possible bone marrow match for the children, in addition to the tens of thousands of others on the waiting list.
Janet Higgins is community outreach specialist for Be the Match Marrow Registry, headquartered at the City of Hope in Duarte.
"It's easy to register on the National Registry," Higgins said. "If a match is found, it's a little more involved than donating blood - a little more time-consuming - similar to donating platelets or plasma, but it only takes one match to give someone another chance at life.
The foundation is asking for donor registrants between the ages of 18 and 44.
A Rancho Cucamonga company, Golden Island Jerky, will provide free jerky to anyone who donates or registers as a donor.
"Since this is the holiday season, everyone is busy with shopping and giving," Smith said. "If people could remember the intangible gift, it's a gift that could save a life."