Bone-marrow hurdles cleared

Sasayama, Hyogo

I would like to thank The Japan Times and its readers for making a real difference to someone in dire straights.

I am a leukemia patient about to undergo a bone marrow transplant here in Japan. The Jan. 26 article “Fight with leukemia reveals marrow-match difficulties” by Eric Johnston highlighted my case to underline the difficulties faced by people who cannot find a bone-marrow donor domestically — either because of mixed heritage or, in my case, because I am a foreign national residing here.

On top of any concern for our health and the risks inherent in our treatment, we face huge practical and financial hurdles. At the end of last year, those problems were simply overwhelming and I could not see any way of overcoming them.

Somehow, with the help of friends as well as strangers, I have achieved the impossible.

Thank you, Eric Johnston, for picking the story up. And a thank you to all the readers who responded. A donor was found, and because of your support, I am able to proceed with treatment. Without your help this would not have been possible.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

aidan o’connor