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Friday, October 22, 2010

Race Does Matter

I spent my childhood being taught that race doesn't matter and my entire adult life (up until 2009) believing that it doesn't. Believing that "seeing" people only as a color or race was somehow equivalent to discriminating. But when it comes to bone marrow and stem cell transplants, race does matter. More specifically there are certain HLA markers in our DNA that determine whether or not our marrow can be a match for a patient in need of a transplant to save their life. And these matching markers are usually found within ethnic groups.

Since 70% of the thousands of patients in need of a transplant won't find their matches within their immediate family, being willing to donate to a stranger in need also matters. Caucasian patients have an 85% chance of finding an anonymous match in the registry while minority ethnic groups have less than a 30% chance. So race matters. More people from every minority ethnic group and people who are of mixed ethnic groups are desperately needed to join the donor program. Because of the rigorous transplant and recovery process most transplant recipients are children and young adults. To see them lose their lives when they are just getting started is heart breaking.

Nick Glasgow was only 28 years old when he passed away.

The one year anniversary of Nick Glasgow passing away is approaching. After facing almost impossible odds of finding a match in the National Marrow Donor Program registry, because he was part Caucasian and part Japanese, Nick and his family and friends launched one of the largest and most successful donor drives I have personally witnessed. They found Nick not one but two perfect 10/10 matches. Sadly, the cancer was too strong and reoccurred, the transplant failed and Nick succumbed to the Leukemia leaving his family and friends far too soon. He was only 28 years old :(

His family and friends have continued to honor his legacy by doing their best to enlist more donors into the Be The Match registry. They are particularly interested in asking people of mixed ethnicities as people of all mixed ethnicities are severely under represented in the donor registry. If you would like to become a potential donor there are many donor drives that take place around the Bay Area each week.

To find a drive nationwide please CLICK HERE to visit Be The Match.org

This weekend you can register to become a Life Saving Stem Cell-Bone Marrow Donor at the Great Mall in Milpitas, CA

Saturday, October 23, 2010
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
447 Great Mall Drive
Milpitas CA 95035
The drive will be located at the 4b entrance at the mouth of cut-through near the food court.

To view more details about any of the following Bay Area drives hosted by the AADP CLICK HERE

October 22 2010 Skyline College, San Bruno
October 23 2010 Great Mall, Milpitas
October 23 2010 Chinese Software Professional Association, SJ (PRIVATE)
October 24 2010 San Jose Gurdwara, San Jose
October 24 2010 Navratri Hungama
October 24 2010 Dia de los Muertos Festival, Oakland
October 26 2010 Smart Modular, Newark (PRIVATE)
October 26 2010 UC Berkeley, day 1, Berkeley
October 27 2010 UC Berkeley, day 2, Berkeley
October 27 2010 Boston Scientific Corp.,San Jose
October 28 2010 UC Berkeley, day 3, Berkeley
October 29 2010 Japanese Community Youth Council Halloween Party, SF
October 30 2010 Mexican Neighborhood Shopping Center, San Mateo
October 30 2010 Cumberland Daly City Church, Daly City
October 30 2010 Mexican Neighborhood Shopping Center, San Mateo
October 30 2010 People’s Baptist Church Health Fair, Oakland
October 31 2010 Tzu Chi winter health fair, San Jose
November 02 2010 De Anza College, day 1, Cupertino
November 03 2010 De Anza College, day 2, Cupertino
November 04 2010 De Anza College, day 3, Cupertino
November 05 2010 Milpitas Police Department
November 07 2010 Presbyterian Church, SF
November 08 2010 CCSF, day 1, SF
November 09 2010 CCSF, day 2, SF
November 12 2010 Milpitas Police Dept, Milpitas (Open to public)
November 15 2010 AT&T, San Ramon (PRIVATE)
November 15 2010 AT&T, Pleasanton (PRIVATE)
November 16 2010 Stanford University, day 1, Palo Alto
November 17 2010 Stanford University, day 2, Palo Alto
November 30 2010 Santa Clara Valley Water District, San Jose
December 05 2010 St. Elizabeth Catholic, Oakland
December 27 2010 West Coast Chinese Christian Conference
December 28 2010 West Coast Chinese Christian Conference

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