Joni, hairstylist, donor -*Video* – Giving U™

jonibackI like Joni. She’s from Hawaii and when I get my haircut we get to “talk story.” She’s about my only connection (besides my love of Spam), that I have to the islands these days.

A few months ago, I was chatting and she was cutting, and she told me about volunteering to give a swab of spit to see if she was a match for a little girl who needed a bone marrow transplant.

Watch The Video: Joni / Hair Stylist / Adventure Philanthropist


Update on Hope for Natalie

Joni gave her swab to see if she was a match for Natalie Nakatani, a little girl with aggressive Leukemia. Natalie found a match and received a bone marrow transplant last April, but unfortunately her cancer has returned. To see find out more about Natalie’s fight and to support her and her family, you can visit her Facebook page.

Natalie_NakataniThe community’s effort to locate a possible match for Natalie was really important because it took place among people of Japanese ancestry, which historically have a low percentage of people donating organs and blood.

In fact, just 3% of all organ donors in U.S. in 2009 were of Asian descent. This compares with Whites which accounted for 68% of all organ donors for that same year.

How Ethnicity Plays a Role in Blood / Organ Donations

Race and ethnicity are one of many factors used in matching cord blood and organ donations. Since tissue traits are inherited, donors and recipients of the same race are more likely to match than ones of different races. So a potential White donor and an Asian patient are much less likely to match than an Asian donor and Asian patient.

The races having the most difficulty in finding an appropriate match include American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asians, Black, Hawaiians, Hispanics and Other Pacific Islanders. (Um, I think that’s everyone except Whites).

In a recent survey on ethnic groups’ willingness to donate organs after death, the percentage breakdown of “very likely” to donate was: (Asians were not included in this study)

  • 42.9% – Whites
  • 31.2% – Hispanics
  • 22.6% – African Americans

Joni as an Inspiration!

Way to go Joni for spitting on the swab! And increasing the likelihood of someone of Asian descent finding a suitable donor for a bone marrow transplant or organ donation. This is how change starts – one person at a time!

UnCommon People engaging in everyday philanthropy – Gotta love it!

Tags: , , , ,

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 10th, 2010 and is filed under Adventure Philanthropists.

Join Our Mailing List

Thanks for checking out my global living and giving adventures!

Sign up for my Weekly Update to get a free Charitable Giving Guide and more surprises straight to your inbox. Join the fun!