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A 7-year-old Vietnamese American boy battling an aggressive form of cancer is in dire need of blood stem cell for his treatment.
Ryan Jacoby, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) back in April 2017, is currently receiving treatment at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
As part of his treatment, the second grader from Redondo Beach, California needs a bone marrow transplant in hopes of pushing his cancer back into remission.
According to “Be The Match,” a non-profit overseeing the world’s most diverse marrow donor registry, Ryan does not have a matched donor available on their registry or any other registries worldwide.
Back in 2017, doctors were able to perform a stem cell transplant on Ryan with his older brother Matthew, 22, who is a half-match. The procedure helped Ryan to remain in remission for about a year.
Earlier this year, Ryan underwent another round of chemotherapy after doctors discovered that the AML had returned.
His parents, Chris and Fawn Jacoby, are now scrambling to find a qualified stem cell donor who shares his ethnic background.
“To save Ryan we need someone with the same ethnic mix–half Vietnamese, half Caucasian and time is of the essence,” Chris Jacoby told “Good Morning America.” “It’s imperative for Ryan’s survival.”
“Be The Match” PR specialist Kate McDermott explained in a social media announcement why finding a match for him has been extremely difficult.
“Ryan is of Caucasian and Vietnamese heritage, this makes it more difficult for him to find a match because blood stem cell matching is based on ethnicity, not blood type,” McDermott wrote.
“For example, a patient of Vietnamese heritage has only a 46% chance of finding a match on the donor registry. Give Ryan’s mixed-race heritage, that percentage chance maybe even lower. This makes it that much more urgent for as many people to sign up as possible – you never know where Ryan’s match may come from!”
The Jacoby family launched the hashtag #Match4Ryan on Facebook to help Ryan and others like him find a suitable bone marrow donor.
As the video below explains, getting tested as a donor takes only a simple blood test or swab inside the mouth.
To help Ryan’s parents find the donor much faster, netizens are encouraged to share this post using the #Match4Ryan hashtag.
Those who are interested in registering in as a donor are encouraged to use this link: http://join.bethematch.org/match4ryan
Featured image via YouTube/Good Morning America