Scholastic Kids Press Corps
The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.
teens making a difference Patrick Pedraja (left) and Ayna Agarwal are teens making a differnce. (Photos courtesy Patrick Pedraja and Anya Agarwal)

These Teens Made a Difference: Patrick Pedraja

Bone marrow registry started

By Mariam El Hasan | November 15 , 2010

Ten-year old kids don't usually have too much to worry about. That was not the case for Patrick Pedraja, who was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 10.

"I was laying in a hospital bed and I was watching one of my friends pass away," he told the Scholastic Kids Press Corps. "She was only a little girl."  

Patrick, who is now 14, didn't waste any time feeling sorry for himself. He decided to do something.

Patrick started a national bone marrow drive known as "Driving for Donors." Bone marrow is the tissue found in the center of bones. Marrow can be taken from a healthy person and transplanted to a leukemia patient. Leukemia is a cancer of the blood. Replacing the old bone marrow with healthy bone marrow enables the body to make healthy blood that is free of cancer.

Finding a donor whose marrow is a match for the patient is highly difficult however. Without a matching donor, the leukemia patient could die.

Patrick is working hard to find donors and because of his efforts, he has helped save about 10 lives so far. He hopes to save even more. He has registered 20,000 donors in the National Marrow Donor Program Registry.

"It makes me feel good to know that I can actually make a difference," he said.

Recently, Patrick participated in the Just Peace Summit for teen leaders between the ages of 14-19. The event was hosted by Three Dot Dash, which is a global initiative of the We Are Family Foundation (WAFF). They held a summit in New York designed to help teach extraordinary teens how to promote their causes.

"They brought 25 different people from around the world to teach them each how to further their cause by social media, how to raise funds and how to get the message out there," Patrick said. "It was a really fun experience. It taught me how to further my cause with the social media, the written word and photography and film and things like that."

Patrick finished chemotherapy last July and is doing well now. When he has free time, he likes to play hockey and baseball and enjoys hanging out with his friends. He learned some important life lessons during his battle with leukemia.

"Just stay positive," he said. "That's 80 per cent of the battle, right there—your attitude. It really helps if you have a positive attitude. It's really helps you out with your life and the disease. It just makes a huge difference."

He also offered some advice to kids in a similar situation.

"You just never give up, honestly, you just have to keep battling it, keep fighting," he said. "You have to have the will to live, because you should never have to give up."

Be sure to also check out Kid Reporter Danielle Azzolina's story about Ayna Agarwal, another teen making a difference.


Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

About the Author

Mariam El Hasan is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    LitCamp Red Bunk Grades K-1

    LitCamp Red Bunk Grades K-1

    by Pam Allyn

    LitCamp is a one-of-a-kind partnership between Scholastic, LitWorld, and author and renowned literacy advocate Pam Allyn. Originally conceived as a means to prevent the “summer literacy slide,” the LitCamp program can be used at any point during the year as an effective extended learning curriculum that cultivates students’ confidence and aptitude for reading, critical thinking, and learning.
    LitCamp program comes complete with practical, dynamic lesson plans; cross-content texts; and creative group activities for a holistic, fun, and effective approach to literacy instruction.
    The 4-8 week LitCamp program combines innovative, research-based curricula with an engaging and interactive summer camp structure and includes…
    • Easy-to-use lessons that reinforce grade-level reading, writing, speaking, and listening objectives.
    • Diverse and motivating read –alouds texts to share in every lesson plus additional copies of the texts for campers’ use
    • Leader’s Guide instructional support and assessment tools.
    • Take home book options and tips of family engagement provided so children can bring literacy home
    • Writsbands for each camper to help build a sense of belonging to a community of readers
    • LitCamper Portfolio give campers a place to keep and preserve their work
    • Professional Book Every Child a Super Reader (Scholastic 2015) authored by Pam Allyn and Dr. Ernest Morrell
    LitCamp’s innovative model incorporates the whole learning life of the child, including engagement skills and social-emotional development.
    Literacy skills:
    • Fluency
    • Comprehension
    • Analysis

    Engagement skills:
    • Stamina
    • Motivation
    • Independence

    Social-Emotional Development:
    • Bolstering one’s self-concept
    • Building resilience
    • The 7 Strengths*

    *The LitCamp curriculum revolves around seven core values that are identified in literature, exemplified in activities, and explored in discussion. This foundation prepares and encourages students to embrace future challenges. The 7 Strengths include belonging, friendship, kindness, curiosity, confidence, courage, and hope.
    LitCamp Red Bunk Grades K-1 Components ideal for Recently Completed Kindergartners include:
    160 Paperback Trade Books (20 titles*; 8 copies each)
    LitCamp Leader’s Guide
    LitCamper Portfolio Folder (15 copies)
    LitCampers Wristbands (15 each)
    Every Child a Super Reader Professional Book written by Pam Allyn and Dr. Ernest Morrell
    Author bio:
    PAM ALLYN is a world-renowned literacy expert, advocate, and author. Her books include Every Child a Super Reader (Scholastic) co-authored with Dr. Ernest Morrell, Child’s Writing Life (Avery), Best Books for Boys (Scholastic), and The Complete Year in Reading and Writing, a K–5 series (Scholastic). Allyn is a national leader in the field of professional development and speaks globally on the learning lives of children and young adults.
    *LitCamp Red Bunk books include:
    I Got the Rhythm
    One World, One Day
    Giraffes Can't Dance
    Hello, Goodbye Window, The
    Big Al
    My Friend Rabbit
    Pierre the Penguin
    Z Is for Moose
    Violet's Music
    Tiger in My Soup
    Not a Box
    Hello Ocean
    Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
    Whistle for Willie
    Scaredy Squirrel
    Let's Play in the Forest While the Wolf Is Not Around
    Pigeon Wants a Puppy!, The
    Perfect Square
    Lola Loves Stories

    To learn more about bringing LitCamp to your school or district visit

    Supplementary Collection | Grades K-1
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    LitCamp Red Bunk Grades K-1
    Grades K-1 $639.00
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

    The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

    by Avi

    On board the Seahawk;Charlotte Doyle changes from a prim and proper girl to a swashbuckling mate of a mutinous crew and tells the riveting truth. Mature content

    $5.24 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grades 7-8
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
    Grades 7-8 $5.24
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy




Here's something interesting from