Laughs For Lives: Call for more Asian American bone marrow donors to register and make a difference

SAN FRANCISCO — Laugh For Lives was the 11th annual fundraiser for the Asian American Donor Program, or AADP.

According to AADP, it costs $100 each time they register someone on the National Bone Marrow donor registry. That’s why proceeds from this event will help fund the effort.

Fil-Am Allan Maravilla founded Laugh for Lives back in 2007, in honor of his cousin who passed away from leukemia.

He says he’s more than happy that this fundraiser continues to this day.

“I love watching comedy and this brings people together to have a great time, but also to learn about a cause. And I think it’s really inspiring to me that Asian American Donor Program has taken this, and really what I created for this show was to have people know how to save lives and how to make a difference for other people.”

AADP is constantly reaching out to the Filipino community for more donors.

According to AADP, Filipinos only make up .05 percent of the National Registry.

“Patients need someone who genetically similar to them, and since not a lot of Filipinos are on the registry, a lot of Filipino patients can’t find a match,” says Mylanah
Yolangco. “And this is a chance to really cure their cancer and for some patients, it’s their last hope.”

Fil-Am Flower Miller was one of those donors.

She shares her story of how a simple act of being available was able to change the life of someone in need.

 

“I feel like this program just found me. I was walking in between classes and someone asked me to get registered and in about a year and a half later, someone called me and I was 1 in 5 potential donors. And I was lucky enough to donate.”

As for an update to those BA recently featured looking for donors — there has been some good news.

 

Pathologist Lisa Evangelista was diagnosed with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia — but received a transplant from her sister’s stem cells in June 2017, and has recovered.

However, AADP is still looking for a bone marrow match for Fil-Am Los Angeles police officer Matt Medina.

For a chance to save Officer Medina’s life and others, or for more information to becoming a donor, please visit AADP.org.

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