A Filipino man seeking to donate stem cells to his cousin, an L.A. resident fighting an aggressive blood cancer, has had his visa application to enter the U.S. rejected for the second time. Arthur Yu, a 41-year-old media strategist, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last March, and a stem cell transplant from his cousin in the Philippines could provide an 80% chance of a cure. However, the cousin’s visa request was denied in December, with the reason given that he hadn’t provided enough evidence that he would return to the Philippines after the donation. Despite appealing the decision, the cousin’s appeal has also been denied. This is part of a broader issue affecting patients from immigrant families whose potential donors are in countries that require visas to enter the U.S.
To assist blood cancer patients like Arthur Yu, individuals can register to become stem cell or marrow donors by joining the NMDP (formerly known as the National Marrow Donor Program). Potential donors must be aged between 18 and 40, residents of the United States or one of its territories, and able to meet certain medical guidelines. Other suitable unrelated donors in the U.S. may also be available, providing hope for patients in need of life-saving transplants.
For more information on Arthur Yu’s story and how to help, refer to the link provided.