We need your help


Dr. Anh Reiss has delivered some 3,000 babies in Houston!  She’s an ob/gyn at Memorial Herman Southwest.  She delivered my son Rhodes and was just amazing.  (The picture above is when she handed me my precious son for the first time!)

Yesterday I received terrible news that she is very sick and desperately needs a bone marrow transplant.  Her 5 siblings were tested but weren’t a match.  Now her family needs your help, you or someone you know could CURE her condition.

Here’s what she emailed me about her condition: 

“I was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (a condition that affects the bone marrow’s ability to produce normal blood components–in my case red blood cells) at the beginning of February following a routine blood test.  The condition makes me tired more easily and I have received several transfusions to keep up my blood count.

The only possible chance for cure is a stem cell transplant with a matched donor; unfortunately among my five siblings there was not a match. My team of doctors at MD Anderson has searched the United States and international donor registries and has not been able to locate a match as of now.

I am told that  a match is more likely among donors and recipients of same ethnic background–meaning I am more likely to match with a donor who is Asian, more specifically Vietnamese.  Unfortunately, the Vietnamese population is the least represented group in the national registry due to the lack of public knowledge and understanding.

There are many patients like myself without a  match. Potential donors can register on line with www.asianmarrow.org or in person with the Gulf  Coast Regional Blood Centers (www.GiveBlood.org).  The preliminary testing is a simple cheek swabs and the donation process can be as simple as giving blood.”

Dr. Reiss is a delightful person and a wonderfully caring doctor.  She and her husband Josh, have 2 children.  The couple met while at Rice and have been married for 20 years.  Their children are 14 and 18.  Besides delivering some 300 babies a year and private practice she also provides emergency care for indigent patients.
Because Dr. Reiss still has countless babies to deliver (certainly a couple more of mine), children to raise and some day grandchild to enjoy, if you would be willing to get tested or know someone in the Vietnamese community PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE forward them his info so they can go get tested.  The potential donor doesn’t have to be in Houston or even in American.   

Her family is organizing a donor testing drive.  When I get those details I’ll post it on the blog. 



14 Responses

  1. Dr. Reiss is my doctor and my heart goes out to her and her family. I will continue to pray for her and if there is anything I can do in order to help in her search for possible donors, please let me know.

  2. Please just forward the info to everyone you know. Thank you.

  3. This is a heart-wrenching story. I’ll hold many good thoughts for Dr. Reiss and her family. May this media coverage assist them in finding a match.

  4. I work with Dr. Reiss. She is a kind and skilled surgeon. I wish to help in anyway I can. I am Asian and already on the bone marrow registry but I wish to spread the word. Can you please tell me how to post this article on my Facebook page?

  5. I’ll email you the article and maybe you can post that on your Facebook page. Thank you so much and I’ll keep you posted on the efforts to find a donor.

  6. Hi Melissa, this is John, Anh’s brother. We are in the process of getting up a website that will let those interested ways to help.

    For now, here is our facebook page with some good info to get started.


    Feel free to contact me for more info.

    Thank you and Lauren for supporting my sister. We will need it.


  7. I recently lost my house in the flood Tuesday – I know life is precious- My “laundry lady” fits this and I am taking this article to her so she can consider helping and also letting friends of hers know. I will continue to keep her in my prayers and do what I can to help- Please keep us posted on the blog and I will link to the facebook page.

  8. my prayers go out to the Dr.-
    is bone marrow donation different than blood donation, i am a faithful blodd donation giver every two months, as this is near and dear to my heart, my husband had a liver transplant at Methodist Hospital in 2007, and i tyr ot give back for the many blessings we have been given.

    can i add this to my website”
    if so i wil lbe glad to add , as my website is seen statewide by lots of people.

    just let me know if i have permission to post this on my website>

    God Bless Laurane for taking the time to put this info out.

  9. Please put this on your website. Thanks! Lauren

  10. Hi Sara,

    Thank you for you kind words and support! To answer your question about marrow donation and blood donation, there are some similarities.

    First a match has to be made. This is done at marrow registration (local drives and online) where a committed donor fills out a registration form and has a cotton swab taken to their inner cheeks. You are then in the national registry till you are 61! That is why it is essential to fill out the registration form completely. Find someone 15, 20, 30 years from now can be challenging.

    If a patient is fortunate enough to find a match (1 out of 20,000-50,000 could find a potential match) a call is made to the potential donor for further testing to ensure a good match. 75-80% of the time, patients doesn’t actually need bone marrow. They need the stem cells from the donor’s blood. So in that sense, it’s like donating blood. In other cases, marrow is needed and can be extracted from the hip bone while the donor is anesthetized. This outpatient procedure usually has the donor in and out the same day and back to their normal routine in a few days.

    This is a really good video that explains more about donation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiDKuNARhXE
    Marrow.org has great information.

    Hope that helps. And thank you again Sara.

  11. Ok, so I went out and registered to be a bone marrow donor. I am also a regular blood donor so it was extra easy. While I was at the Blood Center I asked to be registered for bone marrow. They gave me a form to fill out and then I swabbed the inside of my cheeks four times with 4 cotton swabs and that was it! It really is easy. I just wanted to let people know how simple it is to sign up.

  12. Thank you for registering!! And also thank you for letting everyone know how easy it was to do!

    These dedicated centers are a great way to register when there isn’t a donor drive going on. For those of you in the Houston area, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center (http://www.giveblood.org/) also does the cheek swabs for marrow registration as Melissa mentioned.

    You can find many other dedicated centers at this link on marrow.org


  13. Lauren,
    We will keep the dr in our prayers. GOD does do wonders so pray for anther one.
    Is bone marrow donation done thru blood donation or it is different and how, ( ill go check up on that)
    I would love to put this request on my website if it is ok to do.
    You never know who is out there in the wonderful world that could help her out and save her life.
    Organ donation is very close and dear to my heart, as my husband rcvd a liver transplant at Methodist Hospital in 2007.
    If it was not for his transplant ,he would not be here today.
    I promot organ donation every day!!!!
    If I can put this on my website wil be glad to .
    Thanks Lauren for doing this wonderful request for the Dr.
    Sara Guzman

  14. Some worth while posts on this site and a load of usefull info. If you happen to have time, drop by and come and take a look at my efforts and give me a comment at Atlanta Class Action Lawyer.

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