Team SuperMarrow Race Across America (RAAM) 2019 — Bringing Awareness.  Saving Lives!

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Team SuperMarrow Race Across America (RAAM) 2019 — Bringing Awareness. Saving Lives!

00:30 · 2019

Team SuperMarrow Race Across America (RAAM) 2019 — Bringing Awareness. Saving Lives!

The first photo in this presentation is of TeamSuperMarrow Captain A’marrow’ca Lam Do, M.D. leading the charge! Dr. Do is also known as “The Saigon Arrow” because he is fast and always on target!

Why do the “World’s Toughest Bicycle Race”? We believe in the power of hope. If we believe we can do it, then we will! It’s to demonstrate that people can do anything they put their minds to, no matter how difficult or challenging a goal or circumstance might be.

The other reason we are are embarking on this epic journey is to invite you along on our mission. Everyone has a story to tell. We want to hear your story. Please visit our website and send us a note in the contact box provided online — we look forward to getting to know you!

Be the Match. Save a Life.

Please register to be a stem cell/bone marrow donor at

We are currently seeking RAAM sponsors and crew members and always welcome individual donations. Every dollar counts and will help us to advance our mission to raise awareness of the need to diversify and expand the Be the Match Registry to save more lives.

The second group photo was Taken at the Seattle, Washington Police Department Headquarters on Aug. 4, 2016 from left: Randy Yamanaka, SPD Deputy Chief Carmen Best, Luke Do, Christine Do, Lam Do, and Sarah Gaskins. (Photo by Stacy Nguyen/NWAW)

In 2000, Sarah Gaskins and Lam Do, both physicians, had their first child — a son that they named Luke. “And [seemingly] overnight, he got sick,” said Do. When Luke was 18 months old, Do noticed that his son’s spleen was enlarged.

Gaskins, who is half Japanese and half English-Irish, and Do, who is Vietnamese, were told by another doctor that their son had juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia, a serious chronic leukemia that affects children 4 years old and younger, and would die in six months to a year without a stem cell transplant.

The couple was also told that — due to Luke’s mixed-raced background — the chances of finding a marrow donor match was slim to none.

According to Be the Match, the U.S. National Marrow Donor Program, human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing is what determines a match for a marrow transplant. The body’s immune system uses these protein markers to know which cells belong in the body and which don’t. Best transplant outcomes occur when a patient’s HLA and a donor’s HLA closely match. That is — the respective immune systems have a higher chance of not seeing each other as foreign.

According to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, HLA typing, while hinging on ethnic ancestry, is also very complex; there are more than 2,500 known HLA markers. Siblings have only a 25 percent chance of an HLA-identical match — and about 70 percent of patients who need a transplant will not have a fully matched donor within their family.

Gaskins was already pregnant with Christine, Luke’s younger sister, when Luke’s diagnosis came in. They learned that Christine was not an HLA-identical match to Luke. Thus, the Dos’ health care team contacted the National Marrow Donor Program to find a match outside of the family.

Excerpt from an article by Stacy Nguyen,
Northwest Asian Weekly,August 11, 2016

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