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More Than 100 Students Turn Out for Marrow Typing

* Undergraduates show support for Harvard alum

By Benjamin E. Berkman, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The plight Alan J. Kuo '85, which has sparked a national movement to recruit bone marrow donors, came home to Harvard today as more than 120 people flooded Loker Commons to join the donor registry.

Organizers said the first day of the two-day drive to check students for potential marrow compatibility exceeded expectations.

"It's been a really great outpouring of support by the community and especially the Asian-American community," said Mark A. Simonoff, a high school friend of Kuo's who is helping to spearhead the drive.

Although the drive targets Asian-Americans because of their higher probability of matching Kuo's tissue type, not all the students who came to donate yesterday were Asian.

All students who come to register at Loker are put into the National Marrow Donor Program registry so that they can still have their type listed.

Handling out flyers outside the Science Center, Simonoff, a 1988 Harvard Law School graduate, also characterized Harvard's students as being "generous and warmhearted in response to Alan's plight."

Coordinator Rebecca Young '86-'88, who said she knew Kuo from their years at Harvard was in Loker Commons yesterday to help facilitate the registry process.

The process involves taking a small blood sample and filling out a medical form.

"We are thrilled at the fantastic turnout from the Harvard Community and we hope that it continues through the end of the drive," Young said. "The more people that register the more likely it is that someone will match Alan or someone else dying from Leukemia and save their life."

As of 2:30 p.m. yesterday, the drive had recruited 120 people-many more than the target number of 100 new registrants over the two-day drive, which would have represented 10 percent of Harvard's 1,000 Asian undergraduates. Organizers said they expect the numbers of volunteers to continue climbing.

The donor drive has met with success wherever it has been attempted, organizers said. At the University of California Berkeley, 989 Asians were registered as donors. Similar initiatives have been organized by Kuo's friends in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco.

Kuo's family has also organized drives in Asia. His uncle has doubled the registry in Singapore by recruiting more than 1,000 people.

Various Harvard organizations joined Kuo's friends in sponsoring the event, including the Harvard-Radcliffe Cancer Society and the Harvard-Radcliffe Chinese Students Association (HRCSA).

Harrison Lin '99, a co-president of HRCSA, said he had the idea for this drive when he saw an advertisement that bemoaned the low donor registration numbers.

Lin contacted the Human Leukocyte Registry in Boston and then worked with young and Simonoff to produce this two-day event. He said that the event was going "a lot better than we had dreamed."

The chance to save someone's life appealed to many students who had blood drawn for testing yesterday.

Susan Yeh '99 said she was helping with HRO mailings in Loker when one of Alan's friends came up to her with their pitch. She said she was taken by the sympathetic story and was glad to do "anything to help".

Christine A. Zimmerman '01 saw her father go through a bone marrow transplant last year. She said when she saw posters advertising the drive she felt like she owed something back.

The drive will continue today from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in Loker. All volunteers will receive free Toscanini's ice cream.CrimsonMelissa K. CrockerBARING BONE: BRUCE A. FRASER, a phlebotomist with Lab Corporation, draws blood from RAVI C. CHHATPAR '98 at the bone marrow drive yesterday.

Kuo's family has also organized drives in Asia. His uncle has doubled the registry in Singapore by recruiting more than 1,000 people.

Various Harvard organizations joined Kuo's friends in sponsoring the event, including the Harvard-Radcliffe Cancer Society and the Harvard-Radcliffe Chinese Students Association (HRCSA).

Harrison Lin '99, a co-president of HRCSA, said he had the idea for this drive when he saw an advertisement that bemoaned the low donor registration numbers.

Lin contacted the Human Leukocyte Registry in Boston and then worked with young and Simonoff to produce this two-day event. He said that the event was going "a lot better than we had dreamed."

The chance to save someone's life appealed to many students who had blood drawn for testing yesterday.

Susan Yeh '99 said she was helping with HRO mailings in Loker when one of Alan's friends came up to her with their pitch. She said she was taken by the sympathetic story and was glad to do "anything to help".

Christine A. Zimmerman '01 saw her father go through a bone marrow transplant last year. She said when she saw posters advertising the drive she felt like she owed something back.

The drive will continue today from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in Loker. All volunteers will receive free Toscanini's ice cream.CrimsonMelissa K. CrockerBARING BONE: BRUCE A. FRASER, a phlebotomist with Lab Corporation, draws blood from RAVI C. CHHATPAR '98 at the bone marrow drive yesterday.

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