Friends Crusade for Marrow Match

Dunster Alumnus With Leukemia May Have a Month to Live

"They say there's a match in Japan, but we're not sure if it's a perfect match. In older databases, we need to get further DNA testing," Mr. Kuo said. "This has the potential to be perfectly matched, but we need to test it. So far, we have not been able to get consent from the donor in Japan."

Mr. Kuo said a request for donor consent was made by the Hutchinson Research Cancer Center in Seattle, which is handling Alan's donor search, more than two weeks ago. However, the center has yet to receive a response.

Therefore, friends and family of Alan Kuo are making a last-ditch effort to recruit as many Asian-American donors as possible.

Bone-Marrow Drives

Rebecca M. Young '86-'88 and Mark A. Simonoff, friends of Kuo from high school and college, are organizing Harvard's bone-marrow drive along with CSA's Lin.


The drive will focus on the minority and particularly the Asian-American community, where Kuo is most likely to find a match.

"Just as we inherit our eyes, hair and skin color, we inherit bone marrow in the same manner," Cheryl Louie, executive director for the Asian American Donor Program, said in a news release.

"When a patient is looking for a donor, his best possible chance to find a suitable donor is through his own ethnic community," she said.

But minority registration in the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) is low, making it difficult to find a donor that matches Kuo's marrow perfectly.

This summer, Kuo organized a website explaining his disease and urging all Asians to register.

"You and your friends can make the difference between life and death for me, as well as for others present and future who suffer from this cancer," Kuo wrote on his site.

A chain of e-mails was sent across the country in the Asian-American community with a similar petition for help, flooding the in-boxes of college students everywhere.

Helen S. Ng, who works on Asian-American donors for the Minnesota-based NMDP, said bone-marrow drives around the country have significantly increased registration in the past few months.

"The drives are happening faster than ever before," she said. "Thousands have registered through Alan's recruitment. There have been drives coast to coast in the U.S. and Hong Kong and Singapore."

Last week alone, a drive at the University of California at Berkeley registered nearly 1,000 minority donors.

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