Keep David Dancing!


I am an avid salsa dancer! About eight years ago I was diagnosed with a form of leukemia called myelofibrosis (chronic myeloid leukemia).

Myelofibrosis is a rare cancer of the bone marrow in which the marrow is replaced by scar tissue and  healthy blood cells can no longer be produced. My form of leukemia is potentially curable by having a blood marrow transplant, sometimes called an allogeneic stem cell transplant. Allogeneic stem cell transplantation involves transferring the stem cells from a healthy person (the donor) to the sick person’s body after high-intensity chemotherapy or radiation. 
I needed to find a matching donor. I thought I would not trouble finding a donor.  As it turns out, it was extremely hard to find a donor! After researching stem cell transplantations, I discovered the likelihood of black Americans finding an optimal donor (10 out of 10 match) was only 16% as compared to white Americans of European descent, with a 75% probability or Hispanics with a 40% probability There's a one-in-four chance that [any one] sibling will be a match but my search turned up empty. Searching in Japan, where I live and work,  was not a viable alternative because the chance of finding a matched donor who is not related to you is best with people of a similar ethnic background.
I was strongly urged by my doctor to have the transplant done in the US, but I couldn’t understand why. Although he is the preeminent doctor in Japan specializing in stem cell transplants, he insisted that I find a hospital in the US because he “liked me a lot as a friend and didn’t want to kill me”. Finally he explained to me that 100% of transplants in cases like mine are performed on Japanese patients so he or any other Japanese doctor did not have experience (or confidence) performing the procedure on non-Japanese patients. And because it is such a difficult procedure, one small mistake could have devastating consequences. 
The average cost of an allogeneic stem cell transplant ranges from $600,000 to $800,000.  

Even though I had a serious pre-existing condition, I was able to buy the best health insurance policy I could find in the US to help cover the costs of my transplant. I searched the Internet to find a doctor who specializes in doing transplants on patients who suffer from the same condition as I do,  and that brought me to Dr. Jeanne Palmer of the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Palmer accepted me as a patient after discussing my case with me and immediately began a search using the National BoneMarrow Registry. Against tough odds an optimal match was found! (You probably want to have me around the next time you visit a casino.) The potential donor was tested and seemingly will go through with the donation so a date has been set to begin preparations for a transplant - April 17, 2018. After two weeks of exhaustive tests, I will start the "preconditioning" phase of treatment.  This involves chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments for about four days.  It is at that time that I will actually have the new bone marrow injected through a catheter in my chest.  This will probably happen on or about May 1, 2018. Therefore, I woud like to raise $60,000 before May 1st.

My medical insurance, maxed-out credit cards and my savings will pay for most of my procedure, but there is still a gap.  The money raised will mainly be used to pay for the medicine I will require after transplantation. The money will also be used for 24-hour caregivers for six months, special transportation between the US and Japan, loss of income for six months, and general expenses associated with the transplant. 

Thank you for your kindness and for helping me to get back out on the salsa dancefloor!







でも、ご存知の通り、骨髄移植には膨大な費用がかかります。医療費が高いアメリカでは、最低でも600,000〜800,000ドル(約 ¥62,837,400 ¥83,783,200)といわれています。移植手術がうまくいったとしても、その後もケアや治療薬の投与が続き、多額の費用が必要になります。日本と違って、アメリカの医療保険ではすべてをカバーできません。

そこで、このたび、クラウドファンディングの「GoFundMe」を通じて、募金のお願いを始めました。目標額は、$60,000(約 ¥6,400,000)です。5月1日までに集めることを目指しています。


私、デイヴィッド・ライトの骨髄移植にかかる費用への援助として、クラウドファンディング「GoFundMe」で寄付をお願いして、14日間が経ち、15,000ドル(約 ¥ 1,570,935)が集まりました!目標額の60,000ドル(約 ¥6,400,000)にはまだ届きませんが、本当にありがたく、皆様への感謝の気持ちでいっぱいです。





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David Wright 
South Pasadena, CA
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