Hope for Natalie RIP Dec 2011


Natalie Nakatani Loses Battle with Leukemia

Natalie Nakatani, the little girl from Pleasant Hill, Ca. passed away on December 19, 2011.
Rest In Peace, Natalie.

This website was part of the campaign to save the life of 9-year-old Natalie Nakatani by trying to find a bone marrow match for her. Her case illustrates the plight encountered by Asian Americans who require a marrow transplant. Unlike a blood transfusion, a marrow transplant requires a tissue match between patient and donor. Groups such as the international registry DKMS Americas, AADP in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches in Southern California continue to work to increase the number of Asians and other people of color on the US national registry of marrow donors.

 Friends and family set up this “Hope for Natalie” website, as well as a Facebook page and a Twitter account to spread the word as they sought a compatible blood marrow donor. In addition, a number of celebrities were enlisted to help spread the word about Natalie, including Alyssa Milano and Jackie Chan. Although donor searches such as this one for Natalie are often compared to looking for a needle in a haystack, there have been some success stories which is why I think it is important this domain and its message of love should not disappear. However, when the site's domain registration expired, the site also disappeared.

Imagine my surprise when I recently discovered that the site's domain was now available. I decided to buy it with the goal of recreating as much of its original content as possible from its archived pages. I did not want someone else to purchase the domain and re-purpose the site for something that had nothing in common with the original website.

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An aside: In 2020 the search for a bone marrow match is further complicated with the Covid 19 pandemic. On the www.foxla.com/ website there was an article in the Spring about Rafee Al-saeegh who was diagnosed with Leukemia in October 2019. Although in remission, he continues to go in for chemotherapy treatments. Rafee is searching for a bone marrow donor match. So far, close to three thousand people have registered. And of those, two thousand have been checked —but no one has been the right match for Rafee yet. Prior to COVID-19, there were bone marrow drives organized within the community. But now as a result of social distancing and stay at home orders, those drives must stop. Rafee is now relying on virtual drives to find the perfect match. There is a link to the DKMS page that is Rafee's Virtual Donor Drive! page where interested readers can order a kit, swab at home and mail back the test back.Perhaps a reader could save Rafee’s life — or perhaps they will be a match to help save someone else’s. Pretty cool.

Sitting here in NYC during our Spring lock down due to the huge infection rate/ hospitalizations/ death caused by Covid 19, I realized how this pandemic effects so many different aspects of our lives- some folks more than others. I am thankful I have no health issues such as Rafee Al-saeegh or others that are directly impacted by the complications caused by the pandemic. I feel almost petty that my greatest concern when NYC went into shutdown was how the pandemic would impact my livlihood. Fortunately my clients are weathering this ok. In fact I have just been asked by one of my clients, an upscale furniture store, if I would work with a firm called SEO ZEN NYC, a search marketing service, to create the graphics for a social media ad campaign they are starting to get more brand awareness for their products. With their furniture gallery (store) closed during the shutdown, online purchases are going to be more important.

Six months later and Covid 19 is surging a second / third time throughout the US. NYC had opened up this past Fall, but online shopping is more important than ever. The social media ads on Pinterest and Facebook are working. It's been great collaborating with SEO ZEN NYC for my client. The Covid 19 vaccine is just being rolled out, but I don't see things getting back to normal for at least another year.

I hope Rafee Al-saeegh was able to find a bone marrow donor match, although the novelty of the COVID-19 disease, lack of literature, absence of antiviral agent, and vaccine has added more uncertainty while preparing for and recovering from HSCT. I have been reading that in transplant programs across the globe, physicians are trying to prevent COVID-19 infection in transplant recipients and their respective donors so that HSCT could be conducted smoothly and risk-free.

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Natalie has leukemia.
A bone marrow transplant is her best chance for a cure.
She needs your help to find a bone marrow donor match.

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Natalie is 8 years old. She has a little brother, Sean, and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

After five difficult rounds of chemotherapy last year, Natalie’s leukemia was in remission. Now it’s back and we have just weeks to find the bone marrow donor match that Natalie needs to save her life.

Natalie's greatest chance for a match is from those of ASIAN descent. Please help us spread the word through the Asian community.

International Search for Asian Donor

Since she was first diagnosed with an agressive form of leukemia, AML (acute myeloid leukemia) at age seven, Natalie Nakatani has been battling the disease for nearly 18 months. Hopes were really high when Natalie's chemotherapy was completed. She was gaining weight and happy to be re-enrolled in school. However at the beginning of 2010, a routine blood test caught an abnormality. An emergency bone marrow test confirmed the diagnosis: the leukemia was back. Although she was in remission after five rounds of chemotherapy, the cancer had returned. Doctors told her family that Natalie now needed a bone marrow transplant. Natalie didn't know that out of the 13 million potential bone marrow donors in the world, at the time there were NO matches for her. Her best hope for survival was marrow from a donor of matching ethnicity. Her parents, Grant and Tammy Nakatani, and 5-year-old brother Sean, were quickly ruled out as possible donors, making her one of the 70 percent of leukemia patients who must seek an outside match. However, Asians make up just a small fraction of willing donors. Natalie had both Japanese and Chinese ancestry according to the Alameda-based Asian American Donor Program, which seeks bone marrow donors for Asians with life-threatening blood diseases. Donar registries started checking her against everyone.

There have been eight drives held already since her Jan. 19 diagnosis and more are planned. Her friends have set up a Web site devoted to her search as well as a Facebook page and a Twitter account.

What You Can Do to Help

  • Come to a bone marrow donor drive in Natalie’s honor
  • Order a self test kit to register as a potential bone marrow donor
  • Make a donation to help with Natalie's medical expenses

 

HOW TO HELP

Please register to be a marrow donor and ask family and friends to do the same. Send the link to this site and information on local drives to your personal and work e-mail lists, join Natalie’s Facebook page and share this information with everyone you know.

Everyone can be a part of Natalie’s cause. It could be by becoming a donor, setting up a drive in your community, volunteering at a donor drive, contributing a monetary gift, or just spreading the word! Everyone can make a difference!

Setting Up a Drive in Natalie’s Honor

In YOUR state, community, at your office, church, or school.
Contact a representative at DKMS for assistance: info(at)dkmsamericas.org, 1.866.340.3567.

IMPORTANT: Please update us as to any drives held in Natalie’s Honor, we will list it on HopeForNatalie.com.
Contact Adriel Hampton, savenatalie(at)adrielhampton.com, 925-895-3744

Media Inquiries
Contact family spokesperson Adriel Hampton at 925-895-3744 or savenatalie(at)adrielhampton.com

Volunteer Time or Resources
Fundraising: Ian Tattenham, tattenham(at)gmail.com, 925-768-3719

Volunteer for Drive Day:
2/20 Pleasant Hill, Donna Downing donna.downing(at)att.net
2/22 Cal Berkeley, Michelle Hafer, Michellehafer(at)aol.com

Publicity: Adriel Hampton, savenatalie(at)adrielhampton.com, 925-895-3744

 

DONOR DRIVES

The most important thing you can do to help Natalie is get tested for a marrow match at a local drive near you. The test is a painless cheek swab. Natalie and her family are counting on you.

List of Drives

Flyers for Drives

“There are so many wonderful things to say about Natalie. She is curious, joyful, artistic, a great big sister, intelligent, silly, loves life and loves to be around people. We love her so much that it hurts deeply to even be separated from her at the hospital. Our little girl needs an Asian donor match urgently, so please do whatever you can to make it a priority to get tested at the bone marrow drive. There are no matches for Natalie right now. We hope that you will be the special miracle that will save her life.” – the Nakatanis

Contra Costa County/Tri-Valley
Natalie’s Hometown Drive
Host: DKMS Americas
When: Saturday February 20, 2010
Time: 9am – 4pm
Location: Gregory Gardens Elementary School
Address: 1 Corritone Ct, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Flyer: Adobe PDF Flyer

Natalie’s UC Berkeley/Cal Drive… she’s a Golden Bear Cub!
Host: DKMS Americas
When: Monday, February 22, 2010
Time: 12 noon to 6pm
Location: Pauley East, MLK Student Union on Cal Campus
Address: Telegraph & Bancroft, Berkeley, CA
Flyer: Adobe PDF Flyer

Find a drive in your area
http://www.dkmsamericas.org/bone-marrow-donors/attend-donor-drive

Other SF Bay Area drives (minority focused):
http://www.aadp.org/pages/main.php?pageid=109&pagecategory=4

Other Los Angeles Area drives (minority focused):
http://a3mhope.org/index.php/donor/list-of-drives

Please come to a local drive in your community. If you absolutely cannot make it, order and return a test kit by mail http://bit.ly/dkmskit

San Francisco/Bay Area
Other California
Outside California

Alameda/Oakland/Berkeley

Host: AADP - Minority focused drive
When: Saturday/Sunday February 6 & 7, 2010
Time: 11am to 3pm both days
Location: Oakland Chinatown Street Festival
Address: 388 9th Street, Oakland, CA 94607

Natalie’s UC Berkeley/Cal Drive… she’s a Golden Bear Cub!
Host: DKMS Americas
When: Monday, February 22, 2010
Time: 12 noon to 6pm
Location: Pauley East, MLK Student Union on Cal Campus
Address: Telegraph & Bancroft, Berkeley, CA
Flyer: Adobe PDF Flyer

Contra Costa County/Tri-Valley

Natalie’s Hometown Drive
Host: DKMS Americas
When: Saturday February 20, 2010
Time: 9am – 4pm
Location: Gregory Gardens Elementary School
Address: 1 Corritone Ct, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Flyer: Adobe PDF Flyer

Host: AADP - Minority focused drive
When: Sunday, February 14th, 2010
Time: 12 noon to 1:30pm
Location: Windemere Middle Schoo l- Bay Area Christian Church
Address: 11611 East Branch Pkwy, San Ramon, CA 94582

San Francisco County
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San Mateo County
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Santa Clara County/ San Jose/Milpitas
Host: AADP - Minority focused drive
When: Saturday, February 6, 2010
Time: 11am to 5pm
Location: Starbucks
Address: 1110 South King Road, San Jose, CA 95122
 
Host: AADP - Minority focused drive
When: Friday, February 12, 2010
Time: 4pm to 6:30pm
Location: Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Address: 2040 Nassau Drive, San Jose, CA 95122

Host: AADP - Minority focused drive
When: Saturday, February 13, 2010
Time: 4pm to 9:30pm
Location: Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Address: 2040 Nassau Drive, San Jose, CA 95122

Host: AADP - Minority focused drive
When: Saturday, February 20, 2010
Time: 10am to 3pm
Location: Grand Century Mall
Address: 1001 Story Road, San Jose, CA 95122

Host: AADP - Minority focused drive
When: Sunday, February 21, 2010
Time: 8am to 12:30pm
Location: Mount Olive Lutheran Church
Address: 1989 E. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas, CA 95035

Other California
San Diego Area
Host: San Diego Blood Bank
When: Sunday, February 7, 2010
Time: 9am to 1pm
Location: Buddhist Temple of San Diego
Address: 2929 Market Street, San Diego, CA 92102

Los Angeles Area
Host: A3M- minority focused drive
When: Monday February 1 thru Friday February 12, 2010
Time: 10am to 5pm daily
Location: Asian Garden Mall Drive
Address: 9200 Bolsa Ave, Westminster, CA 92683

Host: A3M
When: Saturday, February 6, 2010
Time: 10am to 5:30pm
Location: Chinese New Year Festival/Parade of SGV,
Address: On Valley Blvd between Garfield and Almansor
Booth Number: Section C #6

Host: A3M
When: Sunday, February 7, 2010
Time: 11:30am to 1pm
Location: Lighthouse Community Church at Torrance High School Campus
Address: 2200 West Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

Host: A3M
When: Monday, February 15, 2010
Time: 7:30am to 9pm
Location: UCLA Nikkei Student Union (NSU) Cultural Night
Address: UCLA - Royce Hall

Outside California

Hawaii

Host: Hawaii Bone Marrow Donor Registry
Location: Great Aloha Run Expo, Blaisdell Center
Address: 777 Ward Ave., Honolulu, HI 96814

Dates & Times:
Friday, February 12, 4pm to 10pm
Saturday, February 13, 10am to 8pm
Sunday, February 14, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Please contact Freddy Gadat if you can volunteer: 808-673-5747

Host: Hawaii Bone Marrow Donor Registry
Location: Kapunahala Health Fair, Kapunahala Elem. School
Address: 45-828 Anoi Rd., Kaneohe, HI 96744
Date & Time: Friday, February 12, 5pm to 8pm

Flyers - Please print out and use to help spread the word!

DKMS Flyers
Pleasant Hill Flyer - UC Berkeley Flyer

AADP Drives
Engilsh How to Help - English Fill-In | Chinese How to Help - Chinese Fill-In | Vietnamese Fill-In | Spanish Fill-In

A3M Drives
Double Sided - Single Sided

 


HopeForNatalie.com