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Special> Focus on Xinjiang> Beijing Review Exclusive
UPDATED: July 30, 2009 Web Exclusive
First Voluntary Bone Marrow Donor in South Xinjiang
A Xinjiang oil worker donates stem cells to save leukemia patient

Hong Junling, Director of CMDP headquarters, awards Wang Xuelong a donation medal (CMDP) 

On July 23, although people in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region are still recovering from the July 5 riot that killed nearly 200 people, a man named Wang Xuelong went to Beijing to donate his hematopoietic stem cells for the purpose of saving a leukemia patient's life. He is the first volunteer from South Xinjiang to make such a donation.

Wang Xuelong is a 35-year-old oil worker, and he became a voluntary marrow donor in 2004. His mother was unhappy when she heard her only son had joined the Chinese Marrow Donor Program (CMDP), because she worried that it would endanger his health. Finally, having consulted with doctors, she agreed with her son's idea.

In May 2009, Wang received notice that he was a matching marrow donor. His wife Xie Suying supported him, saying, "We don't know who the patient is, but this is so-called 'destiny.' It is not easy because the possibility is so small --- only one in a million." Wang's mother was also happy, and she wished her son could save the patient's life.

It is over 600 km from Baicheng, Wang's home, to Korla, the nearest branch registry where he could complete his high-resolution blood specimen collection. On July 3, he went to Urumqi for a physical examination, after he knew he was a matching donor. From then on, he continued physical training, paying close attention to his diet and mood.

On July 23, Wang went to the 307 Hospital of the PLA (People's Liberation Army) in Beijing, where doctors twice collected his hematopoietic stem cells. They will be sent to Beijing Daopei Hospital to heal a leukemia patient.

"I feel strong indignation against the rioters. They have lost their conscience to end precious lives. At this time, as a Xinjiang donor, I can donate my hematopoietic stem cells and save a life - I think it is very meaningful. I feel happy and I'm proud of myself," Wang said before the donation.

Wang's wife was massaging Wang's right hand, while his son sat beside the hospital bed. "Both of us are oil workers," Xie Suying said. "He works in Xinjiang and I work in Hebei. This donation also provides us an opportunity to get together."

According to Zhao Zi'an, Vice President of the Red Cross Society of Korla, so far there are 5,191 voluntary marrow donors in Xinjiang. Led by Wang Xuelong, more than 300 volunteers in South Xinjiang have joined the CMDP.

(Source: The Beijing News, Translated by LIU YUE)

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