Become a bone marrow donor

April 2, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
If you had the chance to save someone's life, would you do it? A story of courage and inspiration from someone in The View from the Bay family.

Bone marrow donation is a topic very near and dear to Janelle Wang's heart, and it's something she has been promoting for nearly 15 years since her aunt was diagnosed with leukemia. To discuss this, we were joined by Erica Murray who is awaiting a life-saving transplant, and Yul Kwon, the winner of "Survivor: Cook Islands" and a spokesperson for the Asian American Donor Program.

Watch Erica Murray's plea for a donor on YouTube

The Jason Fong Bone Marrow Drive at ABC7

This disease also hits close to home for us at The View from the Bay. Producer Jason Fong was diagnosed with leukemia in February of this year and is in need of a bone marrow transplant. We will be holding a bone marrow drive at ABC7 on April 3rd and we're encouraging all minorities to register because of a severe shortage on the National Marrow Donor Registry. That includes Asian and Pacific Islander, Hispanic and Chicano, African American, Native American and Multi-racial individuals.

The Jason Fong Bone Marrow Drive at ABC7 (View flyer)
Thursday, April 3, 2008 8 am - 2 pm
900 Front Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

To register, you must:

  • Be between 18-60 years old
  • Be in good overall health
  • Fill out a consent form, including information of 2 contacts not living with you

For more information on the National Marrow Donor Program, visit:

The Asian American Donor Program (

Benefit concerts for AADP will be held at Bay Area College Campuses this month. For more information, visit:


The Asian American Donor Program is dedicated to helping save the lives of patients with life threatening blood diseases curable by a stem cell transplant. The first step to being a donor is to get onto the National Marrow Donor Program's Registry of potential donors. After registering, your tissue type is placed onto the national database and is searched by patients worldwide. If you are found to be a match, there will be further testing to make sure you are a good match and to make sure that donation will not pose any special risks to you or the patient. There are TWO ways of actually giving your adult stem cells - 30% of the time, you are asked to give stem cells through your bone marrow. 70% of the time, you are asked to give stem cells through your blood.


In 1989, two Asian leukemia patients, Amanda Chiang, 9 months, and Judity Jang Berkoltz, 32, were in desperate need of bone marrow transplants. Both patients were unable to find a match within their own families. Turning to the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP) Registry, the patients hoped to find unrelated marrow donors. With only 123 Asian donors listed on the National Registry, they were told that the prospects of finding compatible donors were virtually impossible.

Determined family and friends of the two patients made a statewide appeal to recruit more Asians onto the Registry. Despite the tremendous emotional and financial sacrifice which led to the successfull recruitment of more than 2,000 Asians, no matches were found. However, the unfortunate deaths of these two people gave birth to the compelling mission of the Asian American Donor Program (AADP) and the hope of new life to others.