Press Release – DKMS – Together for Joon

Minh-Khai Phan-Thi and Marcel Nguyen support the worldwide search for a suitable stem cell donor

Tübingen/Berlin, 12 August 2013 – 18-year-old Joon, originally from Vietnam, has blood cancer and desperately needs a stem cell donation. To help her, the German Bone Marrow Donor Register DKMS, actress Minh-Khai Phan-Thi, gymnast Marcel Nguyen and the German Gymnastics Association have joined forces to call on everybody – and especially people of Vietnamese origin – to sign up as stem cell donors.

Minh-Khai Phan-Thi and Marcel Nguyen
Minh-Khai Phan-Thi and Marcel Nguyen

Since being diagnosed with blood cancer a few weeks ago, Joon has been fighting for her life. Born in Haiphong, Northern Vietnam, she was adopted as a baby and now lives in France with her family. Last year she started studying physics in Geneva in order to pursue her dream of becoming a scientist. But right now that dream suddenly seems a long way off because without a stem cell transplant she has no chance of recovering. A worldwide search is on but so far, no suitable donor has been found.

As soon as actress Minh-Khai Phan-Thi and gymnast Marcel Nguyen – both of Vietnamese origin – heard about Joon’s illness, they immediately agreed to help and are now appealing to people to join the stem cell donors’ register. The German Gymnastics Association (DTB) and especially its President Rainer Brechtken have also made a lasting commitment to fight for the needs of blood cancer patients.

“It’s great to have such high-profile supporters on our side in the fight against blood cancer. I hope that together we’ll be able to motivate people to register as donors,” says Claudia Rutt, managing director of the DKMS.

To Claudia it is especially important for people of all nationalities to join the DKMS register as potential donors because stem cell transplants require patient and donor tissue characteristics to match. These characteristics are determined by the person’s regional origins. “We inherit half our tissue characteristics from our father and half from our mother, and they depend on our parents’ regional origins. For Joon we are more likely to find a donor among the Vietnamese population.”

Claudia Rutt continues: “A lot of people living in Germany have their origins elsewhere. So to help blood cancer patients from all parts of the world, we need plenty of donors from all different places. Help us get as many people to join the DKMS donors’ register as we possibly can! That way, we can give as many blood cancer patients as possible a chance to survive.”

You can register online anytime

in Germany = http://www.dkms.de/joon!
in Poland = http://www.dkms.pl/dawca/rejestracja/index.html
in United Kingdom = http://www.deletebloodcancer.org.uk/joon
in USA = http://www.deletebloodcancer.org/joon

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