Where is the Canadian Cancer Society???
They never help in these situations. They are only interested in Preventative Care, no science needed.
CTV Montreal Published Saturday, July 5, 2014 4:34PM EDT Last Updated Saturday, July 5, 2014 6:46PM EDTA
34-year-old Montreal woman suffering from leukemia is desperately seeking a stem cell donor, and while finding a perfect match is difficult in the best of circumstances, because she is of Vietnamese origin, it's like looking for a needle in a haystack.Mai Duong can't leave her hospital room, as aggressive chemotherapy has killed her immune system.Her first bout with leukemia came after a routine blood test when she was pregnant several years ago.“Immediately I ceased the pregnancy and I didn't even have time to go home. The treatment was automatic. So I did a month and half – six weeks – of isolation here at HMR Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont,” she said.PHOTOS Mai Duong, 34, is suffering from leukemiaShe went into remission, but 10 months ago the cancer came back.“It’sso frustrating and devastating too because I really thought I was ok and… I was in tip top shape. I just went to the gym, I ate my kale. I was doing the right things!” she saidChemotherapy alone can't save her;
Duong needs a bone marrow transplant.Finding a perfect match can a very tall order.“Then you have to look at my origin. I'm Vietnamese. The pool is even harder to find. So right now there's nothing,” she said.There are many more like Duong out there. Hema-Quebec said they are lacking donations from all non-Caucasian ethnicities.“Less than 1 per cent of donors registered worldwide are from Vietnamese descent. So there are 22 million donors in the international data base and less than one per cent of those are of Vietnamese descent,” explained Susie Joron of Hema-Quebec.Finding a match starts with taking a DNA swab, which can be ordered from Hema-Quebec online.
Only once a match is confirmed does the donation process begin.With so few ethnic groups donating, the window to treat patients narrows.“When we can't find matches, we can't accept that. That's why we do research, that's why I do research, and we want to develop new modalities,” said hematologist Dr. Denis-Claude Roy.For now, Duong surrounds herself with family. Her room is covered with pictures of her four-year-old daughter and husband.She's relying on her Facebook page to stay in touch and also to find a donor, but she knows she's in for a fight.“This time around it's a lot more difficult because I have to rely on the generosity of people to get better because the only way for me to get cured is the generosity of people,” she said.She's hoping sharing her story won't just save her life but the lives of others, as well.“Absolutely if isn't for me than it's got to be for someone in the community, because we have to have a back-up plan. Right now there is no plan,” she said.To find out if you’re a potential donor, click here.