Reporting Melissa Culross
SAN MATEO (KCBS) — A four-year old San Mateo boy with a rare disease may need a bone marrow transplant to live. However, it has been difficult to find a donor because of the boy’s ethnicity.
In December, Kyle Crawford was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a bone marrow disease that leaves him fatigued and at high risk of infections and uncontrolled bleeding.
In order to extend his life, Kyle—whose heritage is white and Chinese—must find a bone marrow donor of multi-ethnic or Asian ancestry to match his bone marrow or stem cells for a successful transplant operation, Asian American Donor Program executive director Carol Gillespie said.
KCBS’ Melissa Culross Reports:
“We need everyone of Asian, multi-ethnic and ethnic minority ancestry to step forward and join the marrow registry,” Gillespie said.
“Finding a marrow/stem cell match can be like finding a needle in a haystack,” she said.
Gillespie told KCBS, “You have your Japantown and your Koreatown and your Chinatown, but you don’t have mixed race towns, so these people are immersed amongst the community, so we have to spread the word in a much wider circle.”
Gillespie’s push to find a donor has been helping, and she said that there have been some leads.
“The mixed race community is fairly small, but we’ve had about 1,000 people so far that have come forward either requesting a home kit, or where they can go to a marrow drive, or just inquiring in general to get registered,” said Gillespie.
Bone marrow registration drives are being held Saturday and on Jan. 14 with the hope that a match will be found that could save Kyle’s life.
On Saturday, a bone marrow drive will be held at Serendipity School in San Mateo from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The school is located at 3172 Clearview Way.
On Jan. 14, a second bone marrow drive will be held at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic in San Francisco from noon to 3 p.m. The clinic is located at 558 Clayton St.
More information regarding the bone marrow drives and home test kits can be found online at www.aadp.org or by calling (800) 593-6667.
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