In 2010 my family and I moved to Jersey City. My kids were young, so I wanted to teach them an important lesson about sustainability and farming. I asked them the age old question "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" This quickly sparked their interest. We took a trip to a farm and purchased a dozen eggs. For 21 days, we watched the eggs and waited for them to hatch, and finally three did. We gained popularity around the neighborhood for our small urban farm. We took in rabbits and ducks and continued to raise chickens every year. Now, we have 25+ chickens, 4 ducks, 2 rabbits, 3 dogs, 3 cats, and 1 fish.
Did you know that for Asian or Pacific Islander, odds of finding a bone marrow stem cell match based on ethnic background is less than 47%. Hard to believe but I need a bone marrow stem cell transplant. But as luck would have it, I have donor and will be undergoing a transplant in June. In an effort to give others a better chance at finding a life saving match, I would like to help create awareness for this cause.
In January of this year, I was diagnosed with AML leukemia. Like many, I was living my life to the fullest, when out of the blue my body started signaling that something was not quite right. I was fortunate to have been able to travel to Sweden with my family over the holidays last year. However, I was tired the entire trip but at 56 I felt I wasn’t exercising enough so I thought I was just out of shape or perhaps the altitude or jet lag was getting to me. When I got back home to New Jersey, I was sick with a really bad stomach virus. My doctor ordered tests and labs. I was immediately sent to the hospital to get 3 pints of blood and then to my surprise, I was referred to an oncologist who diagnosed me with AML Leukemia. This was all within a week of returning from my trip! Wow, how life can change in a heartbeat.
Please consider joining the National Donor Registry so patients have a greater chance of finding a match. I am one of the lucky Asian Americans that found a match and I want to help others have the chance, the hope, the ability to continue their lives - but that cannot happen without registry participants. Would you be willing to help? Scan the QR code in the attached flyer or request information (at the link in the comment section below). The Be the Match Organization will then send you a swab kit. You simply swab your cheek lining and send it back to the National Donor Registry - it’s simple!