Seven-year-old Baylor Fredrickson is bi-racial, and while there are more than 10 million bone marrow donors in the national registry, only about 400,000 are mixed race. And because donors ideally need to be ethnically similar, finding a life-saver is daunting.
Baylor, who is battling leukemia, loves math, Greek mythology and sports. A video by the Asian American Donor Program is one of the ways the family is reaching out.
Baylor needs a bone marrow transplant and his sister Maddie is not a match. Their parents are Japanese and German, so a mixed race donor -- Asian and Caucasian -- would be ideal, but so far a worldwide search has come up empty.
For more than two decades Asian American Donor Program spokesperson Jonathan Leong has tried to encourage more people to step up.
"The number one thing is, 'it doesn't pertain to me, I don't have a family member, I'm not affected,'" Leong explained. "It doesn't hit you until it hits close to home and that's the sad part."
Rob Fredrickson is Baylor's dad. His son endured chemotherapy two years ago that they thought had eradicated the leukemia. Now only a bone marrow transplant will do.
And he says Baylor knows finding a donor is a challenge.
"He's spoken to us about the possibility that he may pass away," Rob said. "He's well aware of his own situation."
But at the same time the family is not giving up hope. There's a concerted effort to increase the number of minority donors in the national registry. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Olympic skater Kristi Yamaguchi are involved in public awareness campaigns.
"If it's not Baylor's life, it might be another patient," Rob Fredrickson said.
Upcoming Marrow Drives
Saturday, May 10, 2014
2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Albany High School
Outside Gymnasium, entrance on Thousand Oaks Blvd., Albany
Albany High School address: 603 Key Route Blvd, Albany CA 94706
Sunday, May 11, 2014
1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Mother's Day Stroll
1540 March Banks Dr.
Walnut Creek, CA 94598
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Noon - 2 p.m.
UC Berkeley Shared Services Building (front entrance)
1608 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
Saturday, May 17, 2014
11 .m. - 4 p.m.
Asian Heritage Street Celebration
San Francisco, CA 94102
For information and to learn about additional marrow drives, call the Asian American Donor Program at 1-800-593-6667 or visit www.aadp.org