Even though Mixed Match’s director, Jeff Chiba Stearns (Japanese/European descent), wasn’t in search of a stem cell match, Jason Dehn, the Director of Immunogenetic Operations & Research at Be the Match, volunteered to run Jeff’s HLA through the US and world registries to see if Jeff had any potential matches.
Jason Dehn the Director of Immunogenetic Operations & Research at Be the Match explains the complexities associated with finding mixed race patients bone marrow matches in the US Be the Match stem cell registry.
In this clip from the documentary, Mixed Match, Mixed Marrow founder, Athena Asklipiadis, is taken on a tour of the Be the Match Biorepository in New Brighton, Minnesota by Jon Van Hulzen, Supervisor of Repository Services at NMDP / Be The Match. After collecting thousands of buccal swabs at bone marrow drives, Athena was excited to see how they were all processed and stored.
Patient: Maga Barzallo Sockemtickem
Diagnosis: AML Leukemia
Heritage: Native American, Ecuadorian
Maga has been in the Seattle Children’s Hospital for over 8 months and has been confined to a quarantined room. To pass the time while she waits for a bone marrow match, she writes poetry about her experiences.
Patient: Krystin Yung
Diagnosis: Leukemia Survivor
Heritage: Chinese, Mexican
Krystin Jung just celebrated her 2 year re-birth after receiving a cord blood stem cell transplant two years ago. She was one of the first patients at the City of Hope to receive a double expanded umbilical cord blood transplant. We just happened to show up and interview her and her parents on the exact day of her cord blood transplant, two years ago this day. In this clip, Krystin shares her journey overcoming leukemia with this exciting and new clinical trial.
Becky Luk the Collection Supervisor at Canadian Blood Services walks us through the Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank process of collecting umbilical cord blood from donated units. It’s a model of the actual collection station with a fabric placenta and umbilical cord blood…so don’t worry if you’re squeamish to blood, there’s no actually blood being collected in this video!
Dr. Dana Devine, Chief Medical Scientific Officer at Canadian Blood Services explains the difference between cord blood collection and bone marrow harvesting procedures. If you’re asked to donate stem cells or bone marrow, these are the processes in which you could be requested to donate. Although 80% of the time a donor will donate via peripheral blood cell collection which is as simple as giving blood.
Dr. Heidi Elmoazzen, Director of the National Public Cord Blood Bank at Canadian Blood Services and OneMatch, announces the partnership with BC Women’s Hospital as a collection hospital for donated umbilical cord blood units and the importance of cord blood being used to treat many blood cancers and diseases. New mother, Cara Siu, also speaks about how she learned about the ability to donate cord blood from seeing the Mixed Match fundraising trailer and donated her hapa baby’s cord blood to the cord blood bank.
The original crowdsource fundraising trailer made in 2012 for the feature documentary, Mixed Match. The film is now complete and even though the footage and come of the characters have changed the message remains the same. To learn how to help and learn more, please visit: mixedmatchproject.com