Mai is a 34-year-old woman, and mother of 4-year-old Alice in Montreal. Mai was diagnosed with leukemia while pregnant with a second child, during a routine blood test in January 2013. A few days following the diagnosis, she had to put an end to the pregnancy in order to start a round of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, she relapsed in May 2014. Since Mai is of Vietnamese ethnicity, finding a donor is very difficult. Mai has Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) inv(16) and she was treated at Hopital Maisonneuve-Rosemont (HMR) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The only cure for her type of leukemia was a stem cell transplant. However, her brother is not compatible. Her other options are a transplant from a compatible donor, or a cord blood transplant.
Luckily, in September 2014, Mai was able to find a compatible cord blood donor. In her own words, she expresses her gratitude:
“Somewhere on the globe, a mom gave life twice by accepting to donate her baby’s umbilical cord,
in order to save another mom’s life. I will never thank her enough.”
While Mai was able to find a matching stem cell donor, many patients still need your help. Ethnic communities are severely under-represented in the world donor bank, making finding a compatible donor very difficult for countless others who are currently waiting for a transplant.