Doctors for 2-year-old Jamison Abrenica, a Filipino American, say that searching for a bone marrow match among Asians is particularly difficult because there is a shortage of donors from ethnic communities who have signed up with the National Marrow Donor Program.
"The national registry of donors consists primarily of Caucasians," Asian American Donor Program executive director Carol Gillespie said.
"Some ethnic communities still don't understand why donors are needed," she said. She added that the diversity of Asian ethnicities increases the need for potential donors from Asian communities to join the registry.
"We strive every day to educate the community," Gillespie said.
Leukemia patients, hematology experts and health advocates were scheduled to attend today's 11 a.m. news conference at Kaiser Permanente at 395 Hickey Blvd. in Daly City.