Here’s a link to the CBC article about Mai Duong, a Vietnamese Canadian in Montreal, who is suffering from Leukemia. There has been a search for a compatible donor for months. A bone marrow donor would be preferable but there may be enough stem cells from the umbilical cord. Her public campaign has helped increase the number Asian blood and tissue donors but it’s still a very small percent of the total.
Here’s a talk segment on the French TV program “Tout le Monde En Parle” (The whole world is talking about it) with Mai Duong. Yes, it’s in French. Most of what she talks about is found in the article link above. To briefly summarize, the umbilical cord is a plan C (plan A was her brother who was not compatible and plan B was an anonymous donor tissue donor). The umbilical cord comes from somebody not from North America and that by law she cannot know or will never meet the donor of the umbilical cord. There are risks with the procedure using the umbilical cord stem cells such as infections. She also says that her baby daughter knows she’s sick but not the extent of it. Whenever the daughter sees her on TV or in a newspaper, she asks “Why is mama on TV?” to which she or others respond that people like watching her.