Sunday, November 6th
Sunday, November 6th
Asian American Donor program Executive Director Carol Gillespie talks about the need for donors in the Bay Area and what's involved.
Good morning and welcome to today's world I am sue halt. And just reminder you can listen to this show and others at today's world SF dot com. For the next fifteen minutes we are here with Carol Gillespie who is the executive director of the Asian American donor program good morning Carol good morning thanks for having me thanks for fighting through that traffic traffic to get here so it's kind of a challenge now. So I tell us a little bit about the Asian American donor program what it is and how that started well on Tony's. Two years ago we discovered that there are only 123. Asian Americans Lucy Ian and did then beat a match registry now are then national marrow donor program registry now be to match registry. It's so we saw that the disparity really needed to be changed because there are a lot of I'm Asian Americans that we're not finding bone marrow donors in order to save their life itself. There we are some very proactive community members who started the organization and we just started going out to the community educating them about the need. For bone marrow donors and what it takes to actually help save a life cell we've been doing that now for 27 years and going strong. So the ethnicity people abolish this city's ethnicities excuse me join the registry. Since a person and is most likely to Matt Salmon of his are hearse ethnic background tracked via so the Asian American donor program where where are you located we're located in Alameda California but we serve the entire northern California area got you. So what is what are some of the steps. Sort of issues lymphoma leukemia what what are some of the issues that via -- much any kind of I'm the lead cancer blood disorder disease like in Kenya like he sent lymphoma. The sickle cell now as well can be treated with a bone marrow transplant fallacy emea things like that and what do they do to the body. The disease yes it does. Well depending on the disease but over all when it does is it affects the ball mouse on the disease the bone marrow is actually disease to now he's your immune system. So without an immune system your ear susceptible to all these weird kind of for loosen things and he just can't survive used to use your boom has to be replaced your immune system has been replaced so what they do is eat deplete. By your bone marrow. By giving you chemotherapy and radiation and then. Giving you new healthy bone marrow from someone who's healthy and alive and doing well in the and that starts to graft in the year in your body. In you have new healthy bloom now which means of blood system which means a new immune system and says how'd how would. How is this treated basically with the chemotherapy lean in the NB fleshing out of the old and bringing in the news. Yeah so. Q therapy again like you said is only a treatment it's not a cure it'll hold for a little while sometimes three months some people go into remission for a couple of years. But those people that I'm relapse rather quickly after chemotherapy peek into remission and he read that those of the people need a bone marrow transplant right away. So our hope in him what we want to do is make sure that the registry is full of diverse tissue types. So that anyone that is diagnosed right away can find a donor. So they don't have to wait so in disease progresses to the point where they can't tamp the transplant so it right here I was just looking at what these questions how long can patiently it's a bill Knoll whether or not as you mentioned if it's if the chemo is taking their they earn their mission. And if they're not then has to happen fast bright and there's you know there's different types are chronic and then there's accuse the acute leukemia at some people going and in the immediate transplant right away in an chemotherapy is. Is good enough to to put him into remission but they'll have to have a transplant other patients might not be so far along maybe chronic. Leukemia and then they'll go into remission from the chemotherapy in and they might be able to wait a year maybe a year and half depending. But the key is tenth. Make sure that there's a donor waiting there ready for you when you're diagnosed so you can take time. To figure out the right type of treatment and we are talking with Caracol SP who's the executive director of the Asian American donor program. Act here in northern California and at all kinds of ethnicities as well and again. Why Asian am is there are some some pre disposed. Now you know we started out as the Asian American donor program and we continue to be that way back. That was our focus and so now we have gone into the entire multi ethnic communities help. Really everyone is welcome and we encourage you went to educate themselves about the need in how easy to use to save a life. What are bone marrow and blood stem cells. So what like it had bought Merrill is actually your immune system corrects and our stem cells that are in your bone marrow. There in your umbilical cord blind and they're also in your peripheral blood the blood that runs through your veins. Those stem cells error what is necessary for the transplant. So. We we need to match human Lucas site antigens. Patient and donor. Dose antigens are very tiny little proteins that sit on the white cells in your blind. Those identify who you are bills are critical in their fountain in the stem cells solar they're rich. In the product that we need to transplant patient and you are always looking for donors so how good what is involved. So we go to. Places of worship corporations fairs festivals. Schools whether Thai schools universities wherever we're really invited to educate the community right here yeah exactly so I'm. What we do is we set up a drive we college drive it's really an event that encourages people to to educate themselves and Anthony's swab the inside of their cheek with these little cute to attack the swaps. And then Wii's send everything to to be the match registry the laboratory will identify here human Lucas and I antigens that are found from the tissue sample what you get I'm now. And the little content swap our Q tip. And then you're listed on the national registry and honestly you just kind of wait to see if your match if your HLE antegents matchup patient and meet and then what is involved if you are cash. So there's. Things of Polly move rather quickly after that could take about two months the paths fairly quickly. It he'll be called in to give. An additional blood sample because the transplant center wanna do their own testing on your seniors blood to make sure. That the aid Chile is correct they're gonna check for infectious disease markers and even earlier read the new red cell type. And then once it's again a Fides you are the perfect match for this patient and you probably the only one in the world here at the minority. Then on that the physician would request either Ballmer collection or peripheral blood stem cell collection. Ballmer collection is requested 25% of the time. You grew into the hospital for the date wondered general anesthetic. They inject about five needles in your hip bone in the back. And extract some here Palmeiro will never take enough to affect your immune system will take enough for the patient. That takes about 45 minutes in the operating room and then when you wake up you definitely gonna feel sore achy black on black and blue we cancer coat. And no stitches just puncture wounds. I usually get to go home that evening and then you should take it day or two off from work and then after that you're fine year a year bone marrow replaces itself was constantly doing so. What we took out will be replenished within a couple of weeks. Now peripheral blood stem cell is an injection in your animals in your arm every day for five days in a row. First dazed and the collection center. Takes about an hour at the the next three days either in yours can come to your home you can go to the collection senator or eaten get the shot yourself it's pretty easy. And what that shot does it stimulates the growth of the stem cells that are in your bone marrow multiplies them like crazy over produces a really and then allows them to be released in your bloodstream through in day five of the shot he keep you shot sequence the collections that are. They hook you up to a blood separating machine via. Eyes and you global arms they take the blood from one arm goes through a blood separating machine in the stem cells that are. That are important for transplantation eagle and two in a separate bag and the rest of the blood products group hacking there just fascinating technology. It really has improved greatly and it's much easier for the donors to save a life now rather than going into the operating room so peripheral blood stem cell collection is 75%. Requests have an effect now would that would say a have a family member of be more likely to have dissimilar with that sort of history. Proves that there's about a 25% chance he'll match assembly. Simply outside that it's just like looking into the general public action action all right so once Romero a donor is found it's collected as you mentioned and I am. How do people register as possible donors so they can go to any event that we host here in the Bay Area ornate Angela would be the match registry and in look for a I driver event that's in some other part of the country. Or are thinking inches go to our website EDP now ward. And click on register and then you can register on line news fill out the form and then kick his meal to your house takes a little bit longer. But you know if you are not available to come to a drive. I'm that we hosts in the community and that's important that the key is obviously to get registered appear interest itself. Correct so we're talking with. Carol Gillespie this is today's world I'm sue hall and Carol is the executive director of the Asian American donor program. That you are talking about ten drives you have more than 500 marrow drives a year and how do folks find out about that on your website they just go to our web sites a lot of time to advertise obviously and social media. Into the media that's really key as well you know we try to make it is easy as possible for people to learn about it and register and that is a ADP. Dot org and did thing you out there listening as someone you know is suffering from this. I you can spread the word for your friends that this is them it it sounds a little pain land a little painful but it overall if you have a chance to save a life. That's pretty amazing. It's pretty incredible you have no idea what these patients go throw I mean especially the little kids in and the parents it's just. You know for what the donor goes through and save a life and it's gonna change your life as well as the donor. Let's talk a little bit about Derek. Yeah now I was contacted. I about Derek Derek is a young east foyer I east bay boy eight at ten Tellme Derek story and what's happening with Derek so Derek lives in Fremont and he's thirteen years old. He's on mixed ethnicity he's Chinese and Japanese so that makes it much more difficult for him. To find a bone marrow donor. And so when nets full Chinese powerful Japanese so. Dem I say his school are pretty incredible people that they came up with this title rallying for dear. And so they had they want all through Fremont posted flyers. I'm stores store fronts grocery stores its other schools alone college. And please that they can think of they had eighty volunteers to do best. And their truly just rallying for Derrick he's a typical thirteen year old he likes to bill Michael's feet he likes video games he loves playing with his friends. Really the only thing he wants is to get back to doing that he spent his whole seventh grade in hospital receiving chemo. In its ingenuity that you feel very alone your nicely you can't play with different you might be able face time but it's not a typical. You know teenager. Type of lifestyle so he's anxious to get well as his parents obviously are anxious for him and to skip back to school and you normally can so does he need a match. He needs a match and the unfortunate part it is is that there are 29 point four million. Registered members out worldwide. Now one. Is any match for bear and man. That person now is out there you. And they just haven't registered they just don't know about it so YE that's why I encourage everybody to learn about it because otherwise he's gonna die he is he's very urgently in need of it of the donors if he doesn't. He's not gonna survive. We're talking with Caracol SP who is the executive director of the Asian American donor program that really all ethnicity as to register for. Bone marrow stem cell transplants and it sounds like they need is an ever increasing especially for. Young Derrick right here in the Bay Area who is just waiting waiting patiently and it sounds like M what an amazing. An amazing kid thirteen years old. Yeah health and being on mixed ethnicity like I said I'm it's it's going to be more difficult for him to find a donor. In this community that is really growing rapidly. So we don't meet the needs. For this community we're going to be in serious trouble later on so it in in there's no like. Mixed race town. Even like Chinatown in Japan council we can't really focus on and on that comedians it's there while immersed in the community and some people don't even know. You know correct that they may be mixed at misty self again be in the know understand what you're doing and be committed to owner. So once you commit that's that is another key factor once you've registered in committed to you need to be able to follow through with with the actual. Transmission of the stem cells and all of that sell it and it's it's a big commitment. It is a big commitment but is gonna chains like he says it changed the donors like for the good picture Mitterrand who get an opportunity to see it sounds like you have to be alive and healthy. And whenever you give you get back. It's intense fault yet it's truly amazing. You're not deceiving person receiving thing to me. There extended in your community in which state of eight ADP dot org is the web sites it's the Asian American donor program. You're located in Alameda have but there are plenty of places to go. It's appropriate people want to actually physically come in and go to the centers in and give their blood effort to sample. Yeah so I would be really surprised if there isn't a driver in advance party setup in your area so like 500 drives a year discover web site. Click on the calendar in check how something in your your career or register online eight ADP dot or again amazingly our time is up Carol Gillespie thank you so much for taking the time to be here. Please give our left to Derek and now we have prayers that he will find a match and really really really soon. And that his parents as well. And now I'm sue hall this is today's world and if you wanna hear this show past shows or have show ideas just visit us. At today's world SF dot com. And we will see you next weekend thanks Carol thank you.