Sadly, I haven’t posted in more than two months, but today, I happily have a little free time to write a post. I also had a minute to log into Facebook and it was there that I saw a status update that inspired me to write this post.
Autumn Truong, a friend and colleague of mine, had a Facebook status update and link that caught my attention. She, along with many others, are helping spread the word about Nick Glasgow, 28, of Fremont, CA who is fighting for his life and is in need of a bone marrow donor.
In March, Glasgow developed a sore throat and over the course of a week began experiencing body aches and other symptoms, which then led to him being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a blood cancer. In hopes of going into remission, Glasgow underwent two rounds of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, he is not in remission and is in desperate need of a donor match.
However, finding that match is not easy because it’s like finding a tiny needle in a gigantic haystack. To further complicate the matter, donors have to be of the same ethnic background, and even that doesn’t guarantee a match.
The U.S. Marrow Registry has 6.6 million registered donors. There are 10 million registered donors worldwide, with just over 506,000 of them being Asian American. Ethnic minorities only have a 30 percent chance of finding a donor, whereas Caucasians have up to an 85 percent chance. There is a shortage of Asian, Asian American and other ethnic minority donors worldwide, which is why it is important to spread the word and help close the gap on the shortage of ethnic minority registered donors.
Glasgow is ¼ Japanese and ¾ Caucasian so he needs to find a donor match who is also of mixed Asian-Caucasian descent. The donor pool among Asians is small, but as Glasgow’s friend Stacy Morales said in a recent KTVU news story about Glasgow’s need to find a donor, “it only takes one.” She’s right. And that one person could be you or me.
Regardless of your ethnic background, you could be a match for somebody who is in need of a donor. Get involved and save a life.
Be The Match Marrowthon
From June 8-22, The National Marrow Donor Program is having the “Be The Match Marrowthon” where people across the country can register to become a donor at the numerous donor drives happening during the 15-day marrowthon. The process to become a donor is simple, either have a kit mailed to you or attend one of the many donor drive events during the marrowthon. The test itself involves getting the inside of your cheek swabbed with a cotton swab, which is then sent to a lab for testing. If you are a match, in many cases, the transplant itself can be done through blood.
But you don’t need to wait until the Be The Match Marrowthon because Glasgow and many others are in need today, so visit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to learn more on fighting blood cancers. For those of you who are of Asian descent, visit the Asian American Donor Program.