By Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent
Famed author JK Rowling has put her celebrity behind the effort to find a life saving bone marrow match for Ally Kim.
The novelist and author of Harry Potter surprised the family by urging her 8.2 million Twitter followers to join the effort to save the boy.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 16, 2016
Ally who is almost two currently lives in Britain. His parents were both born in the United States and spent many years in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dad Andrew was born in Chicago and mom Judy in Minneapolis.
“Holy moly, the creator of Harry Potter, Ms JK Rowling herself just tweeted at us!!!,” said the family on its website specifically set up to publicize their son’s plight.
Ally lives with Chronic Granulomatous Disorder (CGD), a disease that compromises his immune system and has put his life in jeopardy.
“The family is holding up pretty well, but very anxious,” Carol Gillespie, Executive Director of the Asian American Donor Program, told AsAmNews. “There is NO donor match for Ally in all of the registries around the world. Over 24 million people around the world. He will most likely match someone who is also Korean. So it is very important to get this message to the Korean community.”
It’s unclear how Rowling became aware of Ally’s struggle, but this is not the first time she has gotten involved in publicizing the importance of registering as a bone marrow donor. About a year ago, Rowling helped to bring the campaign from Britain to the United States for a girl named Lara.
“So, I think J.K. is more aware of the need for marrow donors and feels she can help, which she can, by tweeting about it,” said Gillespie. “A celebrity voice is very powerful when it comes to campaigns like this. They have many followers and people listen to them. They can reach many more people in one tweet than we could. The media is also a very powerful tool for campaigns like this. We truly could not help spread the word with the help from the media and celebrities.”
Ally loves the color purple and kicking the football around. He’s currently living in the hospital and misses playing with his dog. He enjoys blowing kisses and giving high fives.
Ally’s mom is living with her son in the hospital. His dad is working as a research engineer for a heart valve company and is at home caring for Ally’s brother . The family is staying positive while separated.
You can help by simply sharing this story to spread the word. If you live in the United States and are between the ages of 18 and 44, you can register to be a bone marrow donor at http://join.bethematch.org/AllysFight.
If you are living in the UK and age 16-30 please register at http://www.anthonynolan.org.
“Once Ally’s body is ready to receive a marrow transplant, we want to make sure a donor has been found and is ready to donate his/her cells. We don’t want to wait until his disease progresses to a point where he is no longer eligible for a transplant,” Gillespie said.
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