Friends Crusade for Marrow Match

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This week, Harvard's CSA hopes to do the same.

Tomorrow and Wednesday, any minority student can register free of charge by taking a blood test. If a donor is found who matches Kuo's marrow type, he or she will be contacted and asked to give bone marrow.

Donation involves the extraction of bone marrow from the hip while the patient is under general or local anesthesia. Donors can go home after a few hours or rest in the hospital overnight. In a healthy individual, the body replaces the lost marrow, leaving no permanent damage.

Minority Controversy

This week's registry is free to minority students only. White students may also register, but they must pay $50.


Katosha L. Belvin, media coordinator for the NMDP, said there is good reason for the emphasis on minority registration.

Registration, which involves taking a blood sample, is expensive because of the cost of testing the donor's marrow type.

While a white patient has an 81 percent chance of finding a marrow match, an American Indian has a 75 percent, an Hispanic a 64 percent chance, an Asian a 55 percent chance and an African-American only a 47 percent chance of a match, Belvin said.

A grant from the United States Navy is currently paying for all African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanics and Native-Americans to register free of charge, she said.

Kuo's friends also solicited money from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston to allow people of all races to register during the summer drives.

But Jol A. Silversmith '94, former president of the Civil Liberties Union of Harvard and current president of the Harvard Law School Civil Liberties Union, said this policy is unfair to white students.

"I'd really like the CSA and the bone marrow people for that matter to sit back and think about what they're doing," he said.

"This drive is being sponsored to help one particular person, but they are passing up the opportunity then to help other people who might be matched by other Harvard students," Silversmith said.

However, Kuo's friend Simonoff, who graduated from Harvard Law School in 1988 and was founder and past president of the Harvard Law School Civil Liberties Union, disagreed.

Although Simonoff said he is biased because he has been friends with Kuo since high school, he said he feels the bone marrow drive could help everyone.

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