Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi today released the following statement encouraging people in the Asian-American community to become bone marrow donors to meet current demand:
"Howard Gong's urgent need for a bone marrow transplant illustrates the importance of increasing Asian-American participation in the National Marrow Donor Program registry.
Asian and Pacific Islanders currently make up only 6% of the 3.2 million individuals registered as bone marrow donors in the United States. California alone has over 3.8 million Asian and Pacific Islander residents. As a Member of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations, I understand that increasing registration in the Marrow Donor Program dramatically increases the chances for a match for Howard and other Asian and Pacific Islanders in need of bone marrow transplants. Your action will give hope to their families, their friends and their communities.
Every person who registers as a donor is a potential life-saver. Becoming a bone-marrow donor will make the difference for Howard Gong, who has touched countless lives in our community with his work on affordable housing, and many others in need of bone marrow transplants."
In recognition of the need to increase the registration rate for ethnic minorities, the federal government has provided funding for bone marrow testing. If you are an ethnic minority, the testing is free. It requires only fifteen minutes and the taking of a blood sample. For information regarding registering or organizing a donor drive, please call the Asian American Donor Program at 510-568-3700 or 1-800-593-6667 (website: "aadp.org). Outside the Bay Area, please contact the National Marrow Bone Registry at 1-800-627-7692 (website: "marrow.org")
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