Fwd: Friend Dying From Leukemia, Please Help by Registering

Paul Hershenson (
Thu, 7 Aug 97 14:31:51 PST

This appeal has been circulating on the Internet, and although it has nothing to
do with experimental art, it has everything to do with life and preventing a
life from being dramatically shortened. Maybe someone on this list can help!

July 24, 1997

Dear friends, apologies for the mass-mailing and for the delays.
Most of you have not heard from me for awhile, or at best received a
cursory note saying that I was busy. I owe each of you an
explanation. When reading what follows, I ask that you think of
pleasant times and conversations, both profound and light-hearted,
that I have had with each of you. Without further ado, here is my

As each of you already knows, I have been suffering from chronic
myelogenous leukemia for more than two years. Various attempts to
control or eradicate the cancerous bone marrow cells have so far
failed. But at least my doctor and I were able to keep the cancer at
bay to the extent that I could function as a normal and real human
being. For the past two years I have sought treatments, worked and
played, traveled and enjoyed the big and little things in Life,
continued old friendships and even built new ones, and found Love.
So in a sense my cancer was not real, it was merely an abstraction
from a blood smear.

Now everything has changed, and not for the better. On July 7, 1997,
I was diagnosed as entering 'blast crisis', where the erstwhile
chronic leukemia becomes acute and chemotherapeutic regimens become
but delaying actions to forestall the inevitable. From three to six
months from now my cancerous marrow cells will proliferate out of
control and kill me, unless they are ruthlessly eradicated and
replaced with someone else's healthy bone marrow. Of course that
healthy marrow must be tissue-compatible with me (must 'match' me).

Most of you already know about the existence of bone marrow donor
registries, that no one on those registries matches me, and that the
best chance of finding someone who matches me is to add as many
Asians as possible to those registries. And many of you, thankfully,
have made great efforts to add Asians to those registries.
Unfortunately, despite two years of effort, we have not yet found a
match for me. So today, I ask you to join me to try again. I say,
One last push. Because THIS IS IT.

So what to do? Just get every Asian on the planet registered.
Here's how to do it:

1. if you are Asian, get yourself registered. And your relatives too.
In the USA, it's free.

2. get all your Asian friends, colleagues, and associates registered.

3. pass this note (soft and hard copies) or selected parts of it to
everyone, and I mean everyone. I have written a 'personal appeal' at
the bottom of this email that should be suitable for this purpose.
The same appeal appears on my new website.

4. website, what website? It should be up-and-running by the time
you get this email. It is rudimentary, but is improving. The
technical master behind it is Ben Burbridge and technical
difficulties shall be made known to him. This website contains all
sorts of stuff that are useful in order to get registered and to
convince other people to register. Feel free to copy or download
anything there. The URL is

5. volunteer for registration drives, or organize one yourself. An
easy way to do this is to call up one of the non-profit organizations
that exist to register Asians. There is also no reason you might not
donate technical expertise or money to these or other such
organizations. In the USA, the major non-profits are:

Asian American Donor Program (AADP)
2363 Mariner Square Drive, Suite 241
Alameda, CA 94501 USA
510-523-3366 phone
510-523-3790 fax

Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M)
Casa Heiwa, 231 E. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013 USA
213-473-1661 phone

Cammy Lee Leukemia Foundation (CLLF)
37 St. Marks Place, Suite B
New York, New York 10003 USA
212-460-5983 phone
212-460-5971 fax

Buddhist Compassion Relief
Tzu-Chi Foundation USA (BCRTCFUSA)
1000 S. Garfield Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 91801 USA
626-281-9801 marrow hotline
626-281-3383 phone
626-281-9799 fax

6. do your own thing. For example, Ray Lin has today taken it upon
himself to contact every news agency in the San Francisco Bay Area
and talk them into running a story about me. Holle Singer filmed an
interview with me in New York to be used as a public service
announcement. Ben of course created the website. Others of you have
volunteered to write newspaper articles or to create videos or to
contact Asian community organizations or Asian churches. Translation
of my personal appeal into Korean and Vietnamese is a must (I already
have people doing Chinese and Japanese).

7. for more information, consult the website, contact the non-profits,
or talk to my parents James and Joyce [], my
sister Zenda [], or my sweetie Ako [ah@aapcho.
org]. DO NOT REPLY to this email address, as it is temporary.

I find this letter strange, because as you know I am a fairly
independent kind of person. But for the first time I truly truly
need your help. Without it I definitely will not make it to your
next birthday party. ;)

Good luck, take care, and of course, be most excellent to your
friends. Love, Alan


Hello. My name is Alan Kuo. I have only three months left to live,
according to my doctors. Only someone like you can save me. This is

I have leukemia, a cancer of the blood. The only known cure for this
disease is a bone marrow transplant. Without it I will die. To
receive a transplant, I must find a tissue-matched donor. Because
tissue type varies by ethnicity, my matching donor will most likely
be found among people like myself, people of Asian descent - like you.
So far, I have not found a matching donor.

This is why I am appealing to you, a fellow Asian, to ask for your
help. You and your friends can make the difference between life and
death for me, as well as for others present and future who suffer
from this cancer. It takes just fifteen minutes of your time, a
simple blood test will determine if you are my match. Please help
save my life by registering with your local marrow donor program.

My parents are immigrants from China and Taiwan, and I love them and
my sister dearly. My family has pushed me to study hard at Harvard
and to earn my PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; I am
presently doing biomedical research at the University of California
at San Francisco, a premier medical center which is also treating my
leukemia. I am sad that my promising career is being prematurely
terminated by a random disease. I am far more saddened by the
possibility of being separated forever, in as little as three months,
from my family, from my many friends, and from my dear Ako. And I

wish more than anything to continue enjoying this blessing we call
Life. So please get your tissue typed, you might save a life.

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Subject: Friend Dying From Leukemia, Please Help by Registering
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