Vietnamese community rallying to find stem-cell match for leukemia patient

NDP MP Hoang Mai (centre) gets swabbed at a Montreal news conference.
Alain Roberge/LA PRESSE

The lack of bone marrow and stem-cell donors in non-white communities has been thrust into the spotlight with a Montreal leukemia patient's search for a life-saving donor.

Mai Duong is of Vietnamese descent, and needs a Vietnamese donor — but only one per cent of people on donor registries both here in Quebec and around the world are of Vietnamese descent. And Héma-Quebec says there is no bone marrow registry at all in Vietnam itself.

Hoang Mai, a south shore New Democrat MP joined other members of Montreal's Vietnamese community at a news conference to raise awareness about the importance of having non-white blood and tissue donors.

Duong, a 34-year-old Montreal mother, issued a call for a donor with a video posted on her web site earlier this week.

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