Jul 26, 2013  •  In Asian, Personal, Touching

Save Nina

This is Nina.


She is a mother, wife, and daughter.



Last September, Nina was diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.


After 7 rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, the cancer went into remission…but it came back with a vengeance: this time, in her brain. 🙁  Nina is currently undergoing additional chemotherapy, but the aggressiveness of the disease requires an urgent stem cell transplant. And due to her Asian heritage (Thai and Chinese), finding a match has been very challenging. Doctors say that Nina has 1 in 20,000 chance of finding a match.

You may have already heard of the Save Nina campaign, as its supporters and volunteers have been doing one heckuva job in an effort to promote, and reach its goal of 20,000 bone marrow typings.


But if you passed it over without taking action, I urge you to check it out again, especially if you are of Asian heritage.

Even if you’re a non-Asian who’s never heard of Nina, I ask you to get yourself typed and become a member of the national bone marrow registry. You can save a life! Seriously!

The process of getting typed is so simple and painless. All you need to do is get your cheeks swabbed. You can do it in person at a recruitment center or a bone marrow drive, or order a home typing kit completely free of charge. I myself joined the registry with a home typing kit, and it took all of 5 minutes to swab my cheeks, stick the pre-printed labels on the swabs, place them in the pre-packaged envelope, and drop it in the mail.

I confess that I have an ulterior motive for posting this story. I have never met Nina, but we were in the same tight-knit sorority in college so I have many friends who know Nina in real life. And they have nothing but nice things to say about her.

There’s also the fact that her son Donovan and my daughter Claire were born just a couple of weeks apart. When I think of my children growing up without a mother, and imagine that Nina must be thinking the same thing whenever she looks at her precious son, my heart can’t help but break for her.

As you can see from the banner above, Nina currently only has ONE MONTH left to find a bone marrow donor. So please, please consider joining the national bone marrow registry, either by stopping by a local recruitment center or ordering a kit online. Or, you can visit SaveNina.com and see if there’s a Save Nina Drive near you.

Even if you decide not to get yourself typed, you can help by spreading the word:

Save Nina (official website)

“Fighting Cancer to See Son Grow Up” (LATimes article)

“Save Nina Campaign Goes Viral With Hollywood Help” (NBC article)

Thanks for reading! Let’s all keep Nina and her family in our thoughts and prayers!

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5 Responses to “Save Nina”

  1. Donna says:

    Thanks, Jenny, for sharing Nina’s story!

  2. Susan says:

    I’ve been following your blog for a while and am a huge fan of you and your writing. I just want you to know how much I appreciate this post. I hadn’t heard about Nina’s story, and I plan to get typed this weekend in Los Angeles as a result of your post. I’m Korean-American and expecting my first child.

  3. Susan says:

    oh no, I just found out I can’t donate while pregnant. I will still get typed and enter the registry. I’m still grateful to you for informing me about getting into the registry. I never would’ve taken the initiative to do that until hearing Nina’s story.

    • Thank you so much for your comment! I’m so glad that sharing Nina’s story has inspired at least one person to go get typed. Good luck on the rest of your pregnancy!

  4. Allison says:

    Signed up after reading your post and waiting for the kit to arrive in the mail. I don’t want to think about my two young boys having to grow up without their mother. I really hope Nina can find a match in time.

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