Bone marrow search
continues for Vietnamese
Question: What ever happened to efforts to find a bone marrow match for three Vietnamese brothers suffering from a rare genetic disease?
Answer: Another bone marrow recruitment drive for Tuan, Kevin and Anthony Nguyen is scheduled for Nov. 11 at Kawananakoa Intermediate School, said Roy Yonashiro, donor recruitment coordinator for the Hawaii Bone Marrow Donor Registry.
Kevin Nguyen, 13, is a student there, and his older brother Tuan, 14, who is now at McKinley High School, attended Kawananakoa.
Rallies are scheduled at the school on Oct. 25 and 26 to raise awareness of bone marrow donations, and students will make signs and posters to encourage people to sign up for the bone marrow registration drive on Nov. 11, Yonashiro said.
The brothers have hyper IgM syndrome, a genetic disease that weakens the body's ability to fight off infections. All three boys will eventually need a bone marrow transplant, but Kevin has been given a year to live.
Kevin and Tuan are also featured in bone marrow drives in Southern California conducted by the Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches, a group that works to get Asians and Pacific Islanders on the national registry.
"Almost every week, we have some drives for them," said Anh Nguyen, case manager for the group.
Southern California has the largest Vietnamese population outside Vietnam, Nguyen said.
She said Tuan and Kevin have been featured on posters for the last two months, and stories have appeared in Vietnamese newspapers.
The brothers were also featured in the August newsletter for the group.
"What Ever Happened to ..." runs Saturdays. This update was written by Craig Gima.
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