Young Eurasian man urgently needs bone-marrow donor

A 23-year-old North Vancouver man with acute lymphoblastic leukemia is fighting for his life in St. Paul's hopsital. He's had chemotherapy but his only hope for remission is a bone-marrow transplant. The problem is there is a severe shortage of donors of mixed Asian and European ancestry, who would be the best chance of a match since they are from the same ethnic group.

James Erlandsen, an SFU student who worked at the Lynn Valley Save-On-Foods, was diagnosed with the disease in February.

Erlandsen's family is putting out a plea for people, particularly those of Eurasian ancestry, to donate bone marrow.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a quickly progressing disease in which too many immature white blood cells called lymphoblasts are found in the blood and bone marrow.

The Straight recently wrote about bone-marrow transplants and the difficulty for people of ethnic minorities to find matches. See the December 14, 2006, story at

People with leukemia and lymphoma also require frequent blood transfusions during and after treatment, and sometimes there is a waiting list for blood prodcuts (platelets, for instance) as well. Canadian Blood Services urges people to consider giving blood as well.

More details on donating blood and/or bone marrow are at