Hi everyone! I have an urgent announcement to make. My friend Janet is currently in the hospital undergoing a round of relapse chemotherapy to treat her acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This brave 25 year old has two months to find a bone marrow donor before her condition gets worse. Her donor must be a perfect match. According to AADP (Asian American Donor Program), her odds of finding a match are close to one in a million. CHINESE AMERICANS especially are the most likely to match her HLA type.
Here’s how you can help:
1.) JOIN THE REGISTRY.
Registering to be a bone marrow donor is easy and takes less than ten minutes. All it takes is a cheek swab to determine whether or not you’re a match.
- Order a free registration kit from the National Marrow Donor Program OR
- Check Team Janet’s facebook page to find an upcoming bone marrow drive near you.
2.) HOST A BONE MARROW DRIVE.
- Read about how to host a drive here.
- Contact email@example.com to get in touch with a bone marrow recruitment organization.
You can mitigate some of Janet’s medical-related expenses through a small donation. Make a donation online through Paypal here.
- $4-6: enables Janet’s caregivers to pay toll bridge fees when they travel to take care of her in the hospital.
- $5-10: copay for one of Janet’s medications that will last for a month! Janet takes approximately 10-15 different pills per day.
- $50: 4 days of gas coverage for caregivers to travel and take care of her in the hospital.
- $100: cost of adding one donor to the registry. It will be tax-deductible if you donate directly to AADP (www.aadp.org) or Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (www.asianmarrow.org) and make it under Janet’s name.
4.) SPREAD THE WORD.
- Janet’s Personal Plea –> a Youtube video asking people to register, in her own words
- Facebook page –> daily updates on Janet’s search for a perfect match
- www.helpingjanet.com –> Janet’s story, FAQs, & donation page
- NBC LA News Broadcast
- Team ISA’s Public Service Announcement –> Far East Movement, Wong Fu Productions, KevJumba and Ryan Higa urge Asian Americans to register
On a more personal note, I have known Janet since we were in middle school and she is truly an inspiration to me. It takes a lot of courage to ask for help and start a movement like she has. Even if people register and are not a match for Janet, they have the potential to help others with leukemia.
I had a wonderful experience visiting Janet in the hospital this weekend. Our photo shoot almost didn’t happen – when I arrived at her room, Janet was barely conscious enough to say hello. She had just undergone an MRI scan and was consequently drained of energy. Being in her hospital room gave me an intimate glimpse into her daily life… frequent visits by doctors and nurses, multiple drugs, and many hours of the day spent resting in bed. After taking a nap (and drinking a cup of coffee) Janet was ready to go! Joli de Jackie dolled her up and we took a series of photos to update her website.
She is positively glowing! I’m so excited for her to come home in a week or two. :)
One last note. There are a lot of myths surrounding the actual process of donating bone marrow. 70% of bone marrow transplants are done through a non-surgical method called a peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation; it is similar to giving blood. The less common surgical procedure draws marrow from the hip bone while the donor is under anesthesia. Either way, donors usually go home the same day and are able to go back to school/work/normal activities within a week.