Jeremy Kong is a two-year-old Chinese-American superhero out of California. With Jeremy’s Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) diagnosis in June 2012 and impending bone marrow transplant in the next several months, Jeremy’s parents, family, friends and community out in California (with help from the Asian American Donor Program) has been leading a very strong campaign to find him a bone marrow match. There is currently no available match in the registry.
Jeremy Needs You has created a social media page at the Jeremy Needs You Facebook Page, which is a steady stream of drive announcements, updates on Jeremy’s condition, and resources to become registered as a donor.
Jeremy Needs You has been successfully creating drives on the East Coast, and I’ve been in contact with Jeremy’s aunt Yvonne to attempt to get one started in the DC area. She will be flying out to DC on October 7, 2012 to run a drive at Chinese Community Church of Greater Washington in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Swab for Jeremy Kong
Location: Chinese Community Church of Greater Washington (web) Address: 7716 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (map) Date/Time: Sunday, October 7, 2012 from 1pm – 4pm
Please help spread the word about this drive and help save Jeremy’s life!
For the past several months I’ve been working on a new section of the site entitled Donation Stories. The purpose of this section is to chronicle the stories of people who have donated marrow in an honest and personal way. I’ve done my best to provide comprehensive information about bone marrow donation on this site — the methods, the logistics and time commitment, and addressing some common questions — but something was missing.
Since I’m unable to personally join the registry for medical reasons, I’ll never know what it’s like mentally and emotionally to go through the process of donating marrow. I can write about the parameters of the time commitment but I don’t know what it’s actually like to sacrifice the time for checkups and blood tests. Up until now, the emotional and mental perspective is what this site has lacked. The Donation Stories section hopes to address that need.
Janet Liang is a UCLA graduate student who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in 2009. I don’t know her personally, but I linked to her website in the Links and Organizations section of this site because I came across it while looking for other bone marrow initiatives. Through helpingjanet.com, Janet has used her diagnosis to reach out to and educate thousands of people about the need for minority donors. In a matter of two years her outreach has helped to register more than 6,800 bone marrow donors. It’s seriously a staggering number. To give a frame of reference, I set the goal for cheekswab at 300 donors this year. I’ve registered 82 so far.
In the last two days I’ve received two separate emails about Janet, as recent developments concerning her health have created an outpouring of support across the Internet. I was directed to this blog post that she wrote on December 26, entitled “I’m Dying. Again.”:
Last week, I was notified by my hematologist/oncologist that I’ve unfortunately relapsed and will need a bone marrow transplant. And tomorrow (December 26) I will be heading back to the hospital for a month of high-dosage chemotherapy.
I’m writing to ask you as my friends and supporters to be a part of my Helping Janet family. Now more than ever will I really need to count on you for your help. After this intense round of relapse chemotherapy, my oncologist wants to move forward with conditioning chemotherapy and a stem cell/marrow transplant, but not without a perfect match. This is crucial for my survival, and I truly appreciate your support during these difficult times.
When I read it, I freezed up immediately. I felt my heart beat faster and my face begin to flush. She had said the single word that I have completely eliminated from my vocabulary for the last 5 years, no matter the context: