July 28, 2009
- Diagnosed with a rare cancer, Dr. Anh Reiss makes pilgrimage to Marion Days
- Marian Days is a religious and cultural event for Vietnamese Catholics held in Carthage, Mo.
- Team Anh -- Reiss’s family and friends -- is working to add 15,000 Vietnamese donors to the Be The Match Registry
A well-loved OB/GYN and mother from Houston has welcomed thousands of new lives into this world. Now, Dr. Anh Nguyen Reiss, a Vietnamese-American, is traveling to Carthage, Mo., for Marian Days, Aug. 5 - 9, to search for the one person who may give her a second chance at life.
Reiss was recently diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia and her only hope for a cure is a marrow transplant. However, she is currently unable to find a matched volunteer marrow donor on the Be The Match Registry – the most diverse listing of potential donors and cord blood units in the world, with more than 7 million donors and more than 100,000 cord blood units. Family and friends have formed Team Anh to help find a match for Reiss and other patients in need.
“Team Anh is not just about me, it is about thousands of people like me who are searching for their donor match,” Reiss said. “There are perhaps no other opportunities in life when you truly can say that you saved another person’s life. By joining the Be The Match Registry you create that opportunity and give hope to so many. I doubt a higher act of service exists.”
Patients are more likely to match someone from their own race or ethnicity. However, out of a registry of millions, less than 1 percent is Vietnamese.
Team Anh aims to double the current number of 15,000 Vietnamese on the
Be The Match Registry. The team is targeting much of its efforts on Marian Days, the religious pilgrimage that draws 50,000 Vietnamese Roman Catholics from around the country.
“We are extraordinarily grateful that the Congregation is providing us with an opportunity to help raise awareness about the need for more donors during this important religious and cultural celebration,” Reiss said. “We are looking for a marrow miracle, and I pray that we will find one.”
Interested volunteers can join the Be The Match Registry at several locations throughout the Marian Days celebration. People can also sign up to be the one to save a life by visiting BeTheMatch.org or calling 1 (800) MARROW-2.
About Team Anh
More information about Team Anh can be found at www.teamanh.org or by calling (832) 217-8733.
About Marian Days
Marian Days is held in honor of the Virgin Mary and is highlighted by a large, outdoor Mass. Attendees turn the surrounding area into a large campground and nearby residents allow pilgrims to erect tents on their lawns. Although celebrations are centered on liturgy, they also feature a number of Vietnamese cultural events involving music and food.
About the National Marrow Donor Program
The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) operates the Be The Match Registry and partners with a global network of leading hospitals, blood centers, cord blood banks and laboratories. As a leader in the field of marrow and cord blood transplantation, the NMDP facilitates transplants worldwide, conducts research to improve survival and quality of life, and provides education to patients and health care professionals. Together with its fundraising partner, Be The Match Foundation, the NMDP is dedicated to creating an opportunity for all patients to receive the transplant therapy they need. Since operations began in 1987, the NMDP has provided more than 35,000 transplants to help give patients a second chance at life. For more information, visit BeTheMatch.org or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.