BREAKING: Cancer Patient’s Sister Granted Humanitarian Travel Visa to Donate Stem Cells | #SaveHelen

The Huynh family, including Helen Huynh (center, red shirt). (Photo credit: GoFundMe)

Last week, I wrote about the story of acute myeloid leukemia patient Helen Huynh whose sister — a rare perfect stem cell match for Huynh — was repeatedly denied a temporary travel visa by US Department of Citizenship and Immigraion Services (USCIS) to visit the United States from her home in Vietnam so that she could donate her stem cells to save her sister’s life. The Asian American community has been outraged by USCIS’ inexplicable decision to deny Thuy Nguyen permission to travel to the United States, and as the family struggled to apply for emergency humanitarian parole for Nguyen — a move described by the family’s lawyers as a “hail mary” pass — Huynh’s life hung in the balance.

In an effort to help Huynh, Advancing Justice – Los Angeles and Advancing Justice – Orange County launched a sign-on letter and petition that garnered support from 1,100 community members and over 90 organizations, demanding that USCIS intervene to save Helen Huynh’s life. In addition, the Huynh family reached out to numerous elected officials including Senator Kamala Harris, Congressman J. Luis Correa, and Congressman Alan Lowenthal.

Now, Advancing Justice-LA has announced that these and other community efforts appear to have worked: USCIS has decided to grant humanitarian parole to allow Thuy Nguyen to travel to the United States and donate her stem cells to her sister.

Continue reading “BREAKING: Cancer Patient’s Sister Granted Humanitarian Travel Visa to Donate Stem Cells | #SaveHelen”

US Immigration Denies Travel Visa to Sister Whose Stem Cells Would Save Cancer Patient’s Life

The Huynh family, including Helen Huynh (center, red shirt). (Photo credit: GoFundMe)

60-year-old Helen Huynh’s health deteriorates daily as she waits to receive a stem cell donation that would save her life from the acute myeloid leukemia (AML) — a cancer of the bone marrow — that has ravaged her body. Over the last year, US immigration has repeatedly denied a travel visa to her sister, Thuy Nguyen, whose blood and bone marrow holds the key to saving Huynh’s life.

Now, Huynh’s life hangs in the balance, as her family scrambles to find legal help in their fight to appeal US immigration’s inexplicable denial of Nguyen’s travel visa.

Continue reading “US Immigration Denies Travel Visa to Sister Whose Stem Cells Would Save Cancer Patient’s Life”

Why be one of the #170in7?

Cross-posted from JookTime (go here for more information about 2 year old Jeremy Kong’s search for a perfect bone marrow donor match, and join the #170in7 campaign)

httpv://youtu.be/14dd-t6p4So

1% = Chinese donors in the bone marrow registry

7% = Asian donors in the bone marrow registry

0 = matches found for Jeremy Kong so far

 

In memory of Janet Liang

Network of Asian American sites are hosting a cyberdrive

 

7 days to get 170 new bone marrow donors registered

Be one of the #170in7 today!

#170in7: Only 24 hours in and already nearly 10% of our donor goal reached!

The #170in7 bone marrow cyberdrive in memory of Janet Liang has only been live for a little over 24 hours, and already we’ve seen an incredible response from the community. As of late Tuesday and early Wednesday morning, we had still more sites partner up to help spread the word — bigWOWO, Kimchi Mamas, and Remembering Vincent Chin.

And on top of that, as of yesterday, we’ve already hit nearly 10% of our donor goal!

Help save a life today and be one of the 170 in 7. Registration is free for the donor, convenient and secure. Here’s how:

  1. Click on the link: http://join.bethematch.org/TeamJanet. Fill out the forms to request a free, do-it-yourself cheek swab kit.
  2. Tweet about it using #170in7 to be counted!  Click the button to send a Tweet to your followers: Tweet 

    If you don’t have a Twitter account, send an email to jenn [at] reappropriate [dot] co to be counted!

For more info, check out this post.

If you’re already registered, please help spread the word by tweeting with #170in7!

Here’s a list of latest #170in7 posts from around the blogosphere:

Tuesday’s Posts (Sept 18):

Wednesday’s Posts (Sept 19):

RIP Janet Liang

Just found out that Janet Liang, the brave young woman whose battle with leukemia  inspired my own registration in the national bone marrow donor registry, has died. After spending the last several years searching for a perfect bone marrow donor match, and helping to register countless new bone marrow donors, Janet received a partial match transplant last week.

Although I only knew Janet through her online persona, Janet was an inspiration. She faced her cancer with courage and optimism, and funneled her energy to register countless folks in the national bone marrow registry, Be The Match. Recently, she received the Spirit of Hope award from A3M.

Janet, we may not have known one another, but I have been indelibly touched by your incredible spirit. You were a beautiful person, inside and out, and the world seems that much greyer without you.

Thank you, Janet, for inspiring us with your courage.

For those of you who haven’t yet, please register to be a bone marrow donor at Be The Match. Bone marrow matches correlate strongly with shared racial identity between donor and recipient, and yet Asian Americans and other minorities remain profoundly underrepresented in the national donor registry. The registration process is simple, painless, convenient and free — and could one day save the life of someone with cancer.

Also, I’m going to take this moment to highlight a great Canadian non-profit organization whose name is oddly appropriate today: Fuck Cancer.