Tom Wong is many things: a family man, a design and usability guru, a home renovator, an entrepreneur and a fun-loving baseball, football and hockey player. He’s always first with an encouraging word or to rally behind a cause to help friends, co-workers or teammates.
This time, Tom’s the one that needs help from his team. In the summer of 2014, after a few weeks of feeling dizzy and out of breath after playing sports, Tom was diagnosed with MDS (Myelodysplastic syndrome). In MDS, the blood-forming stem cells slow down – or even stop – making the three types of blood cells. Most patients with MDS will develop anemia (low numbers of red blood cells) and may need blood transfusions. Some patients also have low numbers of white blood cells (which fight infections) and platelets (which help blood clot when you bruise or get a cut). Unfortunately in Tom’s case, all three scenarios presented themselves.
To recover from MDS, Tom needs a stem cell transplant from a matching donor, most likely of Chinese descent. The best chance for a cure is to have a stem cell transplant through a sibling matched donor. Unfortunately, Tom’s sisters do not possess the same genetic typing to be his match. The next best chance would be with an unrelated Asian donor. Sadly, the ethnic ratio within Canada’s stem cell registry is disproportionate. Of over 350,000 Canadians in the stem cell donor registry, Chinese make up 7.4% of the Canadian stem cell registry.
Tom has never asked the “why me?” question. He instead chose to go on the offensive… to make it about creating stem cell awareness to help himself and others in similar positions of need.
Register as a stem cell donor today – you could be the one to save Tom’s life.
Please also visit Tom’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tomstrongwong
For News Coverage on Tom’s story, please visit:
OMNI TV News – November 18, 2014 (in Chinese)
Fairchild TV – November 18, 2014 (in Cantonese)
New Tang Dynasty TV – November 18, 2014 (in Mandarin)
www.51.ca – November 18, 2014 (in Chinese)
YorkBBS – November 18, 2014 (in Chinese)
Superlife.ca – November 18, 2014 (in Chinese)
Lovingsister.com – November 18, 2014 (in Chinese)
Sing Tao Daily (Toronto) – November 19, 2014 (in Chinese)
Epoch Times – November 19, 2014 (in Chinese)