Montreal mother hoping public can save her life after leukemia relapse

Photo credit: Emily Campbell

A 34-year old Montreal mother was 15 weeks pregnant with her second child when she went to the hospital for a routine blood test.

The test results showed Mai Duong has an aggresive form of lukemia.

Now she's appealing to the public to help save her life.

Mai Duong's leukemia is back aftera chemotherapy induced remission.

She's now searching for a bone marrow donor as a last ditch treatment.

Perfect match donors are difficult to find in the best of cases but for people of ethnic minorities like Vietnamese Mai Duong, finding a match is next to impossible.

"Minorities don't give out their stem cells, therefore the pool is not very big. The likelihood of finding a match is very slim actually" said Duong.

Susie Joron is the manager for the stem cell donor registry with Hema Quebec is working with Mai Duong to encourage people in minority communities to register as a donors.

"Donors just have to be ready to do a small gesture that could help save someone's life" said Joron

"It's really life saving and often the final try for a patient's treatment", she adde.

Duong is undergoing chemotherapy and doctors have given her two months to find a compatible donor.


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  1. Sarah Awada posted on 07/04/2014 09:46 PM
    This is really sad. How can we help? Is there a number we can call to get more info. I'd really appreciate it if I can get some answers soon.
    1. Mike Nguyen posted on 07/05/2014 08:29 AM
      @Sarah Awada Hello,

      For more information on Mai, you can go here:

      Hema Quebec takes care of the stem cell registry, for more info on that:

    2. Mariekiwis posted on 07/05/2014 10:06 PM
      @Sarah Awada You can get information from HEMA Québec on line or by phone OR you join Mai Duong's Facebook page under the same name. Many links are provided on her page that can answer many of your questions.
      Thank You sincerely for your interest,
      Marie S
  2. Christina Allen posted on 07/04/2014 10:40 PM
    What is the process to see if one is a donor? Also, where would you go?
  3. lynnmarie posted on 07/04/2014 11:38 PM
    I am willing to donate although I am Canadian born of Irish decent. Please
    me to let me know how I can help...
  4. Doris Schoof posted on 07/05/2014 10:55 AM
    I would like to know how I can donate. If the plea is put out there then they should also mention how we can do it.
  5. Duong Family posted on 07/06/2014 02:08 PM
    1. Hema-Quebec will provide tools below, and you send it back by mail with
    postage has been prepaid. You use tree wrap cotton wool (cotton swab) and spit
    (saliva) into his. Then put the cover or box provided on Hema-Quebec and send
    to the address on the envelope. Please read the details in the instrument record.
    2. Cases found in people with myeloid (bone marrow), you will be contacted for a
    blood test, and determine the health status of blood donors.
    3. Cases found in the most appropriate, to donate blood (or bone marrow) can be
    done by i) to donate blood and red blood cells separated from plasma by
    apheresis method, or you can donate marrow (bone marrow).
    (Part of this strategy is merely translated emergency information, please contact
    Hema Quebec or contact the family to have accurate information).
  6. Huy Duong posted on 07/06/2014 09:36 PM
    Hi there,

    Thanks for the interest in helping out my cousin.
    What you need to do is to go on the Hema Quebec website and fill out the form and put a note that this is for Mai so we can have a way of tracking.

    Thank you for trying to save my cousin and helping out the community
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