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Bone Marrow Plea for Triathlete

posted 11 Jun 2012, 05:32 by HK Dragons Triathlon Club

Copied from HK Tri Association email:

Dear friends

This is a rather long email that I would like each of you to read.

Today, a picture of our proud blue Sonic Tri-suit was featured in the Sunday edition of the South China Morning Post (see link to the full article below).  Unfortunately this was not about a recent race, a great performance, or the organization of a brand new triathlon challenge in Hong Kong.  No - this was about quite a different type of race - a race against time for our friend and team member Yvan. 

As you know, Yvan's leukemia will require a bone marrow transplant from a compatible donor to ensure full healing.  We face 2 serious problems however:

1) Time is pressing:  we need to find a compatible donor in Hong Kong before end of June to ensure the best chances of healing.
2) Sadly the current database of donors in Hong Kong includes only very few Caucasians (3% only).  This is very regrettable because it is precisely within this group that we will have the highest and quickest     chances of finding a perfect match for Yvan.

The better news is that the donor registration process and the test needed to determine compatibility are super easy. You simply need to register & fill-in a form at any of the Red Cross donor centers all over HK, where a quick doctor appointment will then be followed by a blood test.  Voila!  Importantly:  Even people that are typically not eligible to give blood in HK can register as bone marrow donor (for example people who have lived more than 5years in France/Europe after 1980).

The other good news is that... for triathletes like us.... such "race against time" is nothing scary at all.   You will probably all agree with me here:  in all our races (whether in Tai Mei Tuk or Disney triathlons, in South Bay Aquathons or in Science Park duathlons) it is always the same story with us - even if we cannot see the finishing line when we start the race, even if we sometimes cannot imagine crossing the finishing line ever - at the end, we just do it!!! Without fail.

It is exactly in this triathlon spirit that we would like to appeal for your urgent help with this race:


We would like to ask in priority all Sonic Caucasian athletes (and of course all others who may want to do the same!) to register as bone marrow donor, and to invite other friends to do the same.  Whether you are compatible or not with Yvan, your simple gesture will surely help someone in great need in a way that none of us can imagine.  I did my test yesterday and can assure you that there cannot be more simple yet meaningful experiences than this one (and btw you can even learn some super helpful brand new Cantonese expressions from the nurses and other donors!!).

We are also going to approach Tri HK and other HK triathlon clubs to ask for their support.


A group of Yvan's friends is also organizing a campaign around sport events in Hong Kong in order to reach out to as many Caucasians as possible and distribute flyers/leaflets individually.  A few extra volunteers to distribute leaflets and approach people during these sport events will be most helpful.  Looking at a few calendars, there seems to be 4 key events scheduled in June in Hong Kong:

    Sun 10 June      Spash n Dash race no 2 / South Bay
    Sun 23 Jun        Dragon Boat competition / Stanley
    Sun 24 Jun        Spash n Dash race no 3 / Repulse Bay
    Sun 24 Jun        Aquawiz open water swim / From Deepwater bay to Middle Bay

So if you have time and are keen, let me know.

Meanwhile we will keep everyone updated about the progress of this race, transition by transition. Many actions are being launched right now to try to find a suitable donor as fast as possible. This is fantastic. Many emails have been circulating, including on Facebook.  Many red cross people have proven to be real angels and offered help selflessly.  Many foreign companies in HK are also going to be asked for help too.  Let's continue!



For more info:

# Where to register as Bone Marrow donor?

# Facebook page for Yvan's search for donor

# Q&A about Bone Marrow transplant?
click here for Word document

# Example of flyer distributed regarding Yvan's race for time
click here for PDF document

# Article in South China Morning Post