The already-tricky process of finding a match for a stem cell or bone marrow transplant proves more elusive for people with a diverse heritage. A Washington Post article today puts the numbers in perspective: “When all of humankind’s relevant genes are considered, there are 10 billion possible combinations.”
With a focus on the genetic, cultural and religious issues surrounding transplantation, the piece spotlights two Stanford affiliates who have struggled to find life-saving donors. A match for psychology professor Nalini Ambady, PhD, was recently discovered after a difficult search. Meanwhile, Nina Louie, a former Stanford undergraduate of Chinese and Thai descent, still needs a bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell transplant to treat her advanced lymphoma.
Read more from the Post about Louie’s friends’ campaign to save her life in the face of 1-in-20,000 odds of success, and how they and organizations such as Be The Match raise awareness about the importance of registering to donate, especially among people of minority-group backgrounds.