To Read Tami's Story from the Beginning

Just CLICK HERE. Her blog begins on March 12, 2009 with a post titled "Tami's Myelodysplasia Diagnosis." Then at the bottom of each post, click on the words "Newer Post" located just below the comments section on each page.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

PLEASE HELP: Michelle's Need is Critical

I have to say that yesterday as I worked at the Red Mango Donor Drive my thoughts were with Michelle Maykin. I'd read in Michelle's blog on May 13th that her condition has reached a critical point. The news was more then sobering. It was heart rending. At her most recent office visit her Doctor had outlined her three options moving forward: To undergo more chemo and continue to look for a marrow match, to begin a drug therapy that might extend her life by months or to simply stop treatment and go on any vacation or trip she's ever wanted to go on.

Michelle and her Mom

Her doctor has warned her that her Leukemia is so treatment resistant that further treatments could be detrimental to her quality of life and that he guaranteed that despite their efforts her cancer would come back. Michelle's response leaves one to wonder where her courage, tenacity and optimism come from:

"I am only 27 years old. There is no vacation I want to go on before I die (I wouldn’t enjoy it with this dark cloud hovering over me.). I am not in denial. I understand that we are in unchartered territory and I am up against a ginormous wall. However, I am not fighting to live for a few more months. I AM fighting to cure myself of this horrible disease so I can enjoy life until I’m gray and old. I want to be there to support Van as he becomes an established businessman, to applaud Melanie at her graduation from med school, to be in the delivery room and welcome Melissa’s future babies into the world, to join a senior citizen bowling team with my BFF Mabel, etc. I would rather die fighting than throwing in the towel."

If you are of Chinese or Vietnamese descent and have not yet joined the national registry, please consider joining to see if you are Michelle's marrow match. This is wrong. Just so wrong that people like Carolyn Tam and Michelle are faced with death in the prime of their lives when their disease is treatable. A transplant is not a guarantee but for many patients it is their only chance. Their only hope.

If you want to try to help Michelle please don't wait. Every day counts. Please tell your friends about Michelle and ask them to tell their friends. Ask them to join the registry if they are of any Asian ethnicity but especially if they are of Chinese and/or Vietnamese descent as this is where she is most likely to find her match.

If you are Chinese, Vietnamese or any Asian ethnicity please CLICK HERE to order a free* marrow test kit. Read the information and click on the green "Request a Home Test Kit" button.

If you want to locate a live drive use the national zip code locator on the Be The Match website by CLICKING HERE.

*There is a Federal grant that covers the testing cost to people of any minority or mixed ethnicity descent to help diversify the National Donor Registry. Joining is simple and pain free. A short registration form and four cotton swabs is all it takes.

Posted by Stacie (Tami's cousin)

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