Finding a bone marrow match for Nick

Nick Glasgow, a 28-year-old employee of EMC Corp., is dying from Leukemia and the only medical cure available to him after months of treatment is a bone marrow transplant. If Nick were fully Caucasian, then 80% of the volunteers in the National Database of Registered Donors would be eligible as possible donors. But because Nick is part Japanese, the number of qualified donors drop to just 2.4%.

With the current list of registered donors, Nick's doctors say there is a 0% chance of finding a bone marrow match.

To date, Nick has endured two rounds of chemotherapy, as well as blood platelet infusions and antibiotic treatments. All have failed to put him into remission.

Nick Glasgow with family

 (Nick with his cousin, Jen Blackadder, on his right and his mother, Carole, to his left)

Nick's white cell blood count is too low for another round of chemo, and he has been sent home as antibiotics have been stopped and his immune system is compromised. What's needed is more possible bone marrow donors.

The problem of finding bone marrow matches is not limited to people of just American/Japanese heritage. All mixed-race Leukemia patients have traditionally struggled to find marrow donors.

Friends and family and fellow EMC employees, as well as the technology community at large, have been working to spread the word about the need for a bone marrow match by posting stories on Facebook pages and Twitter accounts (#helpnick).

Not only has EMC set up donor drives, but business competitors such as NetApp and partners like Cisco and Salesforce.com, are working to set up drives in their areas and help spread the word.

Donating a sample is as simple as taking a swab of your cheek at either a donation center or by ordering a free sample kit online.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

 
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