Our niece, Sonia Rai, was diagnosed with AML Leukemia in mid December 2010 at the age of 24. She went to get her teeth cleaned, and had a bad reaction in the form of uncontrolled bleeding and swelling. At the ER, she was given the devastating news that 100% of her blood cells were cancerous. AML is the deadliest and most aggresive form of the leukemias. Sonia has been in the hospital ever since, and we are in the midst of a nation-wide campaign to find her a matching bone marrow donor. A bone marrow transplant is her best chance of survival.
The problem is, there are not enough people of her ethnicity (Sonia is South Asian) in the registry. There are 7 million Caucasians registered, but only a few thousand South Asians. The numbers for other ethnic minorities are also very low. Because of their numbers, Caucasians have an 80% chance of finding a match. Asians have a 1 in 100,000 chance!
Our mission now has 2 goals: #1 try with everything we have to find a match to save Sonia.
#2 continue to hold bone marrow drives, under the guidance of the Asian American Donor Program, and keep working to educate people and build up the donor registry so that everyone has fighting chance to be cured. Blood Cancers can strike anyone, and sadly it is often a child or young adult.
Her last wish was that the work of Cure Sonia continue, so we will keep on spreading awareness of the need for minority participation in the bone marrow registry, and we will keep participating in bone marrow drives on behalf of those who continue to fight for their lives and search for a match.
Ask Deb if you would like to know how to help, or visit www.curesonia.org