Local drives planned to help Amador grad seeking bone marrow match

Match searches taking place Mohr Elementary Thursday, Amador Valley High on Feb. 25

Two local drives have been set up to help an Amador Valley High School graduate who needs a bone marrow match in her fight against leukemia.

The 2005 graduate, Janet Liang, is looking for a match, particularly from the Asian-American community where she is more likely to find a match.

Two upcoming local drives are at Mohr Elementary School from 2-6 p.m. next Thursday and another at Amador on Feb. 25 from noon to 4 p.m. Typing is easy. All it takes is a cheek swab.

Liang is working on a tight timeline. She needs a bone marrow match before April, or it will be too late to save her life, her doctors say. She has issued a personal, tearful plea on Youtube, asking for help.

"It feels like I don't have much time and I realize mostly why I'm afraid of dying is because I'm afraid of what I'm leaving behind," Liang said in the video. "So, please, register your bone marrow, especially if you're Chinese American."

More than a dozen YouTube videos have been posted seeking help for Liang, many from people who have never met her face to face. There's also a Facebook page and a web page devoted to helping find potential donors.

The Facebook page says she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in August 2009 while studying at UCLA, and went through eight rounds of high-dosage chemotherapy that lasted over the course of a year. Some of her hospitalizations lasted for 30 days, while others took several weeks. In June 2010, she left the hospital in complete remission and began a regimen of maintenance therapy that kept her cancer-free for a year and a half.

During that time, she took a dream trip to England and France with her mother and also appeared in People Magazine on behalf of the nonprofit organization First Descents to promote hope and healing to other young adult cancer patients.

Liang was recently hired by a school district, but her cancer returned. The Facebook page says she recently relapsed and that her plans for the future have been put on hold once again, and that Liang "is now pressed for time to find a match for a bone marrow transplant that may be the last chance to save her life."

She's hoping to be out of the hospital in February so she can work on getting potential donors, when she's in less pain, and to have a month "to enjoy things that I haven't done before, I guess a bucket list."

"I need you to help me, to save my life or find someone out there who could save my life. I'm still positive," she said in her video. "I'm pleading with you, to just continue to get out on the drives. Register. I have until April to find a match."

Other drives, not just for Liang, but for other Asian Americans are being held in Northern California and in Southern California.

Only 3% of the nation is registered as potential bone marrow donors, according to Project Michelle, which was formed to raise awareness and increase the pool of potential donors.

--Glenn Wohltmann


Like this comment
Posted by Alyssa
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2012 at 8:35 am

Please join the bone marrow registry and encourage all you know to join as well! It's quick and simple...request a homekit at OR Web Link

Also, a lot of people have misconceptions about bone marrow donation. Go to Web Link to see for yourself that it's not that scary, especially if it can save Janet's, or someone else's, life!

Like this comment
Posted by M
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 29, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I just joined the marrow registry. It was very easy to join and the transplant commitment/process seems easy enough. I won't be a match for Janet, but I do hope I'm called on someday to help.

Good luck, Janet. ~M

Like this comment
Posted by david kam
a resident of Happy Valley
on Jan 30, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Saw the article today and Janet's story inspired me to join. I drove down to the Asian American Donor Program in Alameda out by the Oakland airport, filled out the form, gave them some swabs and now await their call. Will be spreading the word.

Like this comment
Posted by M
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:35 pm

David Kam~ it was easy to join, yes? I'm telling my family and friends about it. Easy to join, chances are slim that we'll ever be called on, but if we are-- what a difference we can make!

Best wishes to Janet, ~M

Like this comment
Posted by someone
a resident of Amador Estates
on Feb 1, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Does it have to be from NorCal? Can other people join the bone marrow registry who live elsewhere with the possibility of Janet getting it?

Like this comment
Posted by Ptown Dad
a resident of Amador Estates
on Feb 2, 2012 at 9:30 am

When is the next screening in Pleasanton? There is nothing close to us on the Norcal website.

Like this comment
Posted by Can out of state asians register?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2012 at 11:19 am

Do you have to be in California? I have a relative who married into an Asian family but they live in another state. Can they join the registry? How does this work for out of state people? Thanks.

Like this comment
Posted by Glenn Wohltmann
Pleasanton Weekly staff reporter
on Feb 2, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Glenn Wohltmann is a registered user.

There are two (see our updated piece).

One is at Mohr Elementary School from 2-6 p.m. on Feb. 16 and the other at Amador on Feb. 25 from noon to 4 p.m.

Like this comment
Posted by Alyssa
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2012 at 11:35 am

Yes! People from all over the US can join the registry!! Encourage those from other cities, states and even countries to join!

Like this comment
Posted by Candace
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Feb 7, 2012 at 8:09 am

I am raising funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). As a participant in their Team In Training San Diego half marathon in June, I'm asking you to help by making a donation to my fundraising campaign. I'm running in honor of a PG&E co-worker, Jennifer Packard's husband who is in remission from Non-hodgkins lymphoma. If you have a friend or family member who is in remission or who lost their battle with blood cancer, give me their name and I will pin it to my jersey the day of the race.

Please use the link in this email to donate online quickly and securely plus learn more about my progress. You will receive a confirmation of your donation by email and I will be notified as soon as you make your donation.

Web Link

Each donation helps accelerate finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Nearly 958,000 Americans are battling these blood cancers. I am hoping that my participation in Team In Training will help bring them hope and support.

On behalf of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, thank you very much for your support. I greatly appreciate your generosity.

Thank you,

Candace Chesnutt

P.S. I would appreciate it if you would forward this email to as many people as you can to encourage them to donate as well. Thanks again.

The above reflects the opinion of the author and may not represent the views of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Like this comment
Posted by asian
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 17, 2012 at 7:26 am

is there a place in town to get tested if you missed the feb 16th location and can't make the one on the 25th? I would like to get tested to see if i am a match for Liang but don't want to go on the national registry.

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