Girl in need of bone marrow highlights shortage of mixed-race donors

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United States on 2015-09-14 00:40Z by Steven

Girl in need of bone marrow highlights shortage of mixed-race donors

The Chicago Tribune

Vikki Ortiz Healy

When doctors told Michelle Trujillo in July that her 6-year-old daughter would need a bone marrow transplant to save her life, the Crystal Lake mother didn’t want to wait another minute before getting her only child back to health.

But months later, Sophia — who has aplastic anemia, a rare disorder that impairs her immunity — is still waiting for a donor match. Meanwhile, Trujillo says she lies in bed at night making mental lists of places to try to find a donor with similar multiracial heritage to her daughter’s — a group with a strikingly low match rate.

“I don’t sleep at night. I think of, ‘What can I do now? Who can I contact now?’ ” said Trujillo, whose daughter is half Filipino, as well as Irish, Spanish and Italian. “One match is all we need, but it’s like a needle in a haystack.”

The Trujillos’ predicament highlights a nationwide paradox that has troubled medical experts and families awaiting transplants for years: despite the ever-growing diversity in the United States, there are not enough minority and multiracial donors registered and available for patients in need…

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