Our Story

Mission Statement

Asian American Donor Program (AADP) is dedicated to increasing the availability of potential stem cells donors for patients with life threatening diseases curable by a stem cell transplant.

Who we are

AADP is a community based nonprofit, for social benefit (501©3), organization specialized in conducting outreach and donor registration drives in and with diverse communities. AADP is an official recruitment center of the Be The Match registry.

History

In 1989, two Asian leukemia patients, Amanda Chiang, 9 months, and Judith Jang Berkoltz, 32, were in desperate need of bone marrow transplant.  Both patients were unable to find a match within their own families. Turning to the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP) registry, the patients hoped to find unrelated bone marrow donors. With only 123 Asian donors listed on the National Registry, they were told the prospects of finding compatible donors were virtually impossible.

Determined family and friends of the two patients made a statewide appeal to recruit more Asians onto the registry. Despite the tremendous emotional and financial sacrifice, which led to the successful recruitment of more than 2,000 Asians, no matches were found.  However, the unfortunate deaths of these two people gave birth to the compelling mission of Asian American Donor Program and the hope of new life to others.

Crane

AADP’s logo, the origami crane, was chosen in fond memory of Sadako Sasaki.  At age 11, Sadako was hospitalized with leukemia, the result of radiation poisoning from the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima.  Sadako’s friends told her that if she made a chain of a thousand cranes, Sadako’s wish to live would come true. Sadako had finished 644 cranes when she died. Her friends completed the chain with the wish that others might live.

As news of Sadako’s story spread, origami cranes from around the world began arriving as a sign of support and empathy for Sadako’s efforts.