Students and colleagues from Tufts and Stanford Universities have taken to social media to promote a bone marrow drive for a South Asian American psychology professor, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Doctors diagnosed 54-year old Nalini Ambady with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 2004. Her leukemia went into remission but returned late last year.
According to the Journal, both the donor and the recipient must have a matching set of genes called Human Leukocyte Antigens. But that can be a difficult match for South Asians because of the diversity in the population’s HLA, says N.K. Mehra, head of Immunology and Immunogenetics at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.
“The Indian Subcontinent has been a melting pot for various racial groups which halted here, intermingled with the local populace leading to the emergence of a novel set of HLA,” he said.
You can read a lot more about the difficulties for South Asians to find a donor in the Wall Street Journal.