Arthur Yu, a 41-year-old personal trainer based in Los Angeles, is currently fighting blood cancer and facing another battle to bring his stem cell transplant donor into the country after they were denied a visa by the U.S. State Department. Stem cell transplants, also known as bone marrow transplants, are a crucial treatment for fighting blood cancer by delivering a high dosage of chemotherapy. Yu’s immune system would be saved by the new cells from the donor. This process is physically demanding and stressful.
Yu used the Be the Match registry to find a potential donor and discovered a distant cousin in the Philippines who was considered a “half-match.” However, the visa for the donor was quickly denied, leaving Yu frustrated. He is now seeking help from Senator Alex Padilla’s office for assistance. Meanwhile, his cousin has another visa interview scheduled in the Philippines next week.
Yu was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) after experiencing alarming symptoms such as a spiked heart rate and shortness of breath. He has undergone four rounds of chemotherapy and is eagerly waiting for his potential life-saving match to enter the country. Stem cell transplants offer the possibility of lasting remission for patients with AML and other blood cancers.