IN the spirit of giving and bayanihan, Filipino American organizations on Thursday, December 17 held a blood donation and bone marrow registration drive in Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown for a Fil-Am who was diagnosed with leukemia.
Kalayaan Incorporated, in cooperation with the Long Beach Bacolod Association, held the drive with the City of Hope at the Los Angeles Downtown Medical Center (LADMC) to help Freddie Verzosa, a Fil-Am LA County employee, who is in search of a donor.
According to the City of Hope, Adrianne Grieco, “There is a lack of blood and bone marrow donors within the Filipino and other Asian communities in general. While we are looking to find donors that are compatible to Freddie Verzosa, this drive could also help other cancer victims of Asian heritage.”
A bone marrow transplant is a top way to treat leukemia, especially for older patients. Matching is based on one’s human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue type and matches are closely based on a patient’s ethnicity.
Rosalie Caratao, a board member of the Kalayaan Inc. stated, “We are so grateful that the LADMC allowed us to use the parking lot of their hospital. The LADMC, which is in the center of Historic Filipinotown, has been the venue site for numerous Filipino American activities such as the meeting place for the Rotary Club of Historic Filipinotown.”
The City of Hope donated their blood mobile, and the event was managed by Cheryl Gonzales and Joel Holley, City of Hope employees.
This blood and bone marrow drive was further organized through the efforts of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department Community Advisory Committee (Lt. Sheriff Ben Sahile), Deputy Sheriff Charlie Ongsingco and David Chung with LA County co-worker, Stephanie Kawai and friends and family of Freddie Verzosa. (AJPress)