Montreal woman pleading with B.C. residents to save her life

VANCOUVER Mai Duong, 34, only has six weeksleft to get a life-saving stem cell or bone marrow transplant and shes pleading with the Lower Mainlands Asian population tosave her.

The mother of one was born and raised in Montreal. Shes had good health for most of her life, until she was diagnosed with leukemia in January 2013, while pregnant with her second child. Doctors told her she had to terminate the pregnancy she was at 15 weeks and start chemotherapy immediately.

Duongwent into remission, but ten months later the cancer was back. And this time it was more aggressive and chemotherapy wouldnt work, she was told. Instead, she needed stem cells or a bone marrow transplant.

Even though Im on the international registry list for donors, I did not have a match for the bone marrow. I was devastated when they told me that, she toldGlobal News.

It turns out the problem of finding a match, and a perfect one at that, is more common among those of Asian descent. In 2012, 2-year-old Jeremy Kong of San Francisco was diagnosed with leukemia and couldnt find a match until he went public. After doing so, he found a nine out of tenbone marrow donor match and underwent a transplant, but died a year later. Experts say Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino and other South Asian populations are behind Caucasians when it comes to donating blood and organs.

Were severely underrepresented in the international list. So its not even a local or a national problem; its a global problem, said Duong.

Duong is turning to Vancouver because of its large Asian population, and urging people to get tested. She needs a donor of Vietnamese or Filipino descent for a perfect match, and she needs to find them within six weeks or its unlikely shell survive.

For more information on how you can help Duong, visit her Facebook pageor websiteand get tested at OneMatch.ca.

With files from Darlene Heidemann.

Shaw Media, 2014

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Montreal woman pleading with B.C. residents to save her life

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