May 30, 2008

Pull, pray, anything, everything

For Julia, please.

Lee Herrick's tribute to Julia, Light, is a prayer. The article in today's Yonhap (and below), is a prayer, too. Although mine feel feeble in comparison, believe me they are going up for you today, Julia. Send your good thoughts, positive vibes and prayers to Julia, too, OK?

Edited to add: Theresa (thank you so much Theresa) has linked to this post on Digg (as you can only read part of the Yonhap article on their website unless you have a subscription which you get by emailing them not online form good grief!) in the hope that Julia's story can get more exposure. Take a moment to Digg it!
Korean adoptee with leukemia seeks bone marrow donor
By Kim Young-gyo

SEOUL, May 30 (Yonhap) -- Ku Ji-hye celebrated her 25th birthday this week in bed at a Jerusalem hospital, continually fighting for her life with extensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Ku has acute lymphocytic leukemia. If she does not receive a bone marrow transplant she will die, doctors say. There is not any member in her family, who has human leukocyte antigens, the components in blood that indicate marrow compatibility, suitable to hers. And it is because she is an adoptee.

Born in 1983 in the South Korean capital city of Seoul, she was adopted almost immediately through the services of Holt International.

She was raised in New York and graduated from the University of Buffalo in 2006. It was in May of 2006 that she was suddenly diagnosed with an aggressive and life-threatening leukemia.

Ku underwent immediate chemotherapy at a U.S. hospital, but was unable to attain remission.

As a last chance, she entered aggressive experimental treatment at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem at the end of June 2006. Her best chance for full recovery is to find a bone marrow donor from Korea.

Leukemia patients are mostly likely to match someone of their same race or ethnicity, as tissue type is inherited, according to medical authorities.

Some of the online and offline communities of the Korean adoptees worldwide hope that a drive can be organized from Korea to find a compatible donor for Ku.

"Brian Bauman, who was also an adoptee, survived leukemia, after finding a match in South Korea. We are praying that the same thing could happen for her," John Arbour, who is also a Korean adoptee residing in New York, said to Yonhap News Agency via e-mail.

Bauman, born Kim Sung-duk in South Korea in 1974, and who had been adopted at the age of 3 years to Minnesota, was diagnosed with leukemia in 1995. After the government-funded Korean Broadcasting Service ran a one-hour documentary on Bauman, he found an unrelated donor from among thousands of South Koreans who volunteered to place their names on donor registries.

Those who volunteer to be a donor for Ku will at first undergo only the simplest, painless procedure --the drawing of a small blood sample from the arm. That blood will be tested, and if the necessary elements are compatible, more tests will be taken. Finally, if the donor is a match for the many who need bone marrow, they will be hospitalized for a short period of time. During the procedure to withdraw bone marrow, they will receive mild anesthesia, and a doctor will use a needle to extract the bone marrow from the pelvic bone. The procedure has become more and more advanced, and discomfort for the donor is minimal.

ygkim@yna.co.kr

4 comments:

Margaret said...

Praying very hard for Julia.

BethGo said...

I'm praying too.

Julia is such a light in this world.

I am running The Nike Women's Marathon in October and raising money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. I was doing it with my biological maternal grandmother in mind. She was diagnosed with lymphoma around the same time I was born, a diagnosis that led to my being relinquished.

But now I'm running for Julia too.

Margie said...

Thanks, Margaret!

And you go, Beth, I know Julia appreciates it!

Rebecca said...

I am just so incredibly sad. I miss Julia so much, and yet I never even met her. How can our lives be so touched, so moved, so powerfully impacted by an online person? I'll answer that question, because she was just that special and remarkable.