ANST - Off topic: Fwd: From a man with leukemia

Bill Sholar BillS at
Wed Jul 30 06:41:23 PDT 1997

Gentles of Ansteorra,

What follows is completely unrelated to medievalism. It is, I hope,
related to the spirit of chivalry and service we try to foster and carry
over into the mundane world. Even so, I apologize to everyone for what
may be an inappropriate use of this list. To those who don't want to
read this, I apologize for the time it took to download, the pennies
added to your phone bill, and the general increase in clutter.

That aside, I received the following plea from the host of a popular
humor list I'm on. It moved me. The internet is rife with schemes
playing on greed, and no doubt scams playing on sympathy. I don't think
this is one of those. The author, a man dying from leukemia, needs a
bone marrow transplant. But he isn't asking for money. If that had been
the point of the letter it'd probably be in my trash can by now. Rather,
his request is the relatively simple act of going to a local clinic,
giving a small blood sample, and being registered in a national database
of potential donors. And if yours is the match for what he needs, maybe
to save his life. If not then maybe someone elses.

As the fellow who passed this on to me says, "I hope that this is one
instance where the awesome power of the Internet can truly make a
difference." I'm glad he sent me this off-topic email. I wasn't aware
that it could be so easy to help people. I hope you feel the same. If
not, again, I apologize.


Dear Top5 Subscribers,

My name is Chris White, and you may know me as the owner and editor of
The Top 5 List.  I apologize in advance for using this venue for
something other than Top5 or comedy, but I assure you this is of
sufficient urgency to warrant it.

I am forwarding a message from a friend of mine, Alan Kuo, who is dying
of leukemia and has only a few months to live unless he can find a bone
marrow donor who matches him. 

I assure you that this is no e-mail hoax, as I know Alan personally and
have known of his condition for some time now. I hope that this is one
instance where the awesome power of the Internet can truly make a

If you have no interest, then you needn't read further.  For those of
you who *are* interested, here's Alan's message.  

Thank you for anything you can do to 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 explanation:

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

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
     asamdonors at

     Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M)
     Casa Heiwa, 231 E. 3rd St.
     Los Angeles, CA 90013 USA
     213-473-1661 phone
     a3m at

     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
     cllf at

     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 at

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 [djea88a at], my
   sister Zenda [zendakuo at], or my sweetie Ako [ah at 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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