Stacy Walker needs a marrow donor urgently! An all American girl of mixed heritage, Korean and Caucasian needs you.
Stacy was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome in October 2006. In the beginning chemotherapy seemed to keep her disease under control, however, now she needs blood transfusion every week. Doctors say that Stacy will need a bone marrow transplant from a matched donor to save her life. Stacy loves the outdoors, hiking, going out to dinners and long walks with her family and friends. Born and brought up in Chula Vista, Stacy loves the Torrey Pines trail, but lately she is not able to do anything. Walking just a few steps makes her feel out of breath.
While there are 7 million potential marrow donors in the national database just 450,000 are Asian and only 150,000 are of multiple or mixed-race. Every year more than 10,000 Americans are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases that could only be cured with a transplant from a marrow or stem cell donor. Though 30% of the patients find matches amongst their families, 70% have to depend on the generosity of a stranger. Stacy’s only brother is not a match, and being of mixed ethnicity makes it even harder. In spite of the odds Stacy is facing, her family is very hopeful. Stacy has been trying to do drives to make sure that not only she finds a donor through this effort, but many others like her could also hope for a miracle.
For a successful transplant, the tissue type of a bone marrow donor needs to closely match the patient’s type. Special testing determines whether a patient and a bone marrow or the blood cell donor is a good match. The closer the match, the better it is for the patient.
Because tissue types are inherited, patients are most likely to match someone from their own race or ethnicity. Adding more donors from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds to the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) s Be the Match registry increases the likelihood that all patients will find the match they need. Your heritage can make all the difference.