Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Urgent plea for help: Harrison Leonardo needs a bone marrow donor

Today's New York Post has a story about 2-year-old Harrison Leonardo, whose leukemia recently relapsed. He desperately needs a bone marrow transplant.

A match will likely be of his same genetic type, half-Filipino and half-Caucasian, but a suitable donor has not yet been found. There is donor candidate testing tomorrow in downtown Manhattan from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 151 Wooster Street. Because I am also half-Filipino, half-Caucasian, I'm definitely going. If you recognize me, let me know and I'll buy you coffee or something so we can chat. I'll be in a blue suit and striped blue tie, but you may identify me most easily by a blue pocket handkerchief.

Click here for a street map, and here is an NYC subway map. You can take the 1 line to Houston, the C/E to Spring Street, or the 4/5/6 to Spring (a ways to the east but definitely walkable). If you think you might possibly be a match, please go to get tested. You should state that you are looking to be tested specifically for Harrison Leonardo, but you can also be tested for suitability with others in need of bone marrow donors. I used to donate platelets often, and because HLA matches are so hard to find, if I turned out to be a close match for some leukemia patient or hemophiliac, I would donate a second time 7 to 10 days later.

If you live in the Bay Area, please note that there are other upcoming drives, including two in San Francisco and one in Oakland. Please spread the word. From the Help Harrison website:

Any help you can give me in spreading the word about Harrison and these upcoming donor testing drives would be greatly appreciated.

Harrison, a 2-year old, has a rare form of cancer called myelogenous leukemia (www.helpharrison.com) and is in desperate need of a bone marrow donor. A suitable donor will most likely have a similar ethnic background as Harrison, who is Filipino and Caucasian., however there is also a chance a match can be found with someone who is of Asian descent or who is bi-racial. Testing involves a swab of the mouth for tissue. There are several donor testing drives coming up (listed below). There is no fee for minorities, or public safety officers, to get tested. Caucasians can expect to pay between $25 and $52, depending on funding levels.
If you are unable to attend a drive you can still help by requesting a free testing kit be mailed to your home. To request a free kit, please call 1-800-59-DONOR (1-800-593-6667) or visit AADP.
12/19 (Tuesday) main entrance PG&E building- 77 Beale Street btwn Market and Mission. Auditorium lobby-enter to left of the waterfall San Francisco 12pm - 2pm.
12/20 (Wed) 151 Wooster Street, New York, NY, through the DKMS America. Contact is Nicole.
12/21 (Thurs)San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 2-Upper Level Lobby Area, South San Francisco 9am - 4pm.
12/27 Cathay Post (with the Firefighter's Local 798 and SF Asian Firefighters Association) 1524 Powell St., San Francisco. 10am to 2pm.
1/6 (Saturday) - 3:00pm – 6:00pm, A marrow donor recruitment drive will be held at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland 659 14th Street, Oakland, CA.

Please check the www.helpharrison.com website for updates or more information on the drives.
For more information on bone marrow donoations, please see:
http://www.marrow.org/DONOR/FAQs/Marrow_Donation_FAQs/index.html

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