10 August 2009

Last-minute US visa gives sister chance to donate marrow

Less than a year ago Li Luan Lin, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, thought his life was over after he was diagnosed with leukemia last November. By March, he was unconscious and near death.

The 25-year-old hoped to arrange American tourist visas for his parents to pay one final visit.

But in a last-ditch effort to save his life, doctors in New York and China compared his bone marrow with his sister's Alyu Lin and found it was a perfect match.

Alyu Lin, 22, arrived from China with a hastily issued US visa last week in hopes of helping her brother with a last-minute marrow transplant.

The two are headed today to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to work out a schedule for the bone marrow transplant, which is the best possible chance of beating the disease.

The first two-to-four weeks are critical, with the patient isolated inside a single room with limited visitors. No fresh fruits, vegetables, plants, or cut flowers are allowed in the room because of the dire risk of infection.

Alyu Lin plans to stick around for her brother's recovery, since her US visa is valid for one year.

The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in American visa and immigration services.

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