St. Louis woman meets child she saved with bone marrow donation


ST. LOUIS – Ruko Senseney of Chesterfield just happened to sign up to be on the bone marrow registry when she was in college. Thirteen years later, she got a call that she was a perfect match for a Texas 3-year-old who had leukemia.

A bone marrow transplant was his only chance for survival.

Ruko had her own 3-year-old son by this time and knew donating her bone marrow was the right thing to do. Now 11 years later, Ruko was able to meet the child whose life she saved.

Ruko and Jerry Yang met via Zoom but had an immediate connection. Jerry is doing well but now his little sister also has leukemia and needs to find a bone marrow match.

Be The Match is a nonprofit that finds bone marrow matches for critically ill patients. Be the Match says Ruko and Jerry’s match highlights the importance of more people in the Asian community getting on the registry. It is difficult for people of Asian descent to find a matching donor. They have a 41 percent chance of finding a match compared to a 77 percent chance for someone with a Caucasian background.

Be The Match is looking for anyone ages 18-44 to sign up by texting BeLikeRuko to 6164 or by going online. Be The Match will mail a cheek swab kit to your home and cover the entire cost of the procedure.

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