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Stem Cell Match Stopped From Saving Cancer Patient Because Of Trump

The current political climate in the U.S. has caused all sorts of strange changes, and, for one woman, it might just cost her her life.

Helen Huynh, a 60-year-old woman from California, suffers from myeloid leukemia – a aggressive form of cancer that targets the body’s bone marrow. Ms. Huynh was diagnosed with the oncological condition on Valentine’s Day this year.

Doctors from the University of California Irvine Medical Center have announced that Ms. Huynh’s best chance of survival is if a suitable candidate can be found for a stem cell transplant. USI staff informed Ms. Huynh that the procedure could only be carried out if she was able to find someone who had a 70 percent genetic match. Ms. Huynh was hopeful that her biological sister – who is a 100 percent genetic match – could travel to America from Vietnam so that the live-saving procedure could be carried out.

However, when Ms. Huynh’s sister applied for a temporary visa to America, even citing the humanitarian circumstances of her visit, her application was quickly denied. As outrage mounted, U.S. Immigration officials responded that they had reason to believe that Ms. Huynh’s sister would stay in America illegally if she was allowed in the country. However, this is perplexing as Ms. Huynh’s sister has never travelled to the United States and has extensive family connections keeping her in Vietnam.

The following letter, sourced from Federal immigration officials, clarifies the agency’s position on Ms. Huynh’s visa refusal and reads:

“Evidence may come in many forms, but when considered together, it must be enough for the interviewing officer to conclude that the applicant's overall circumstances, including social, family, economic and other ties abroad, will compel him or her to leave the United States at the end of the temporary stay. Regrettably, Ms. Nguyen was unable to establish to the satisfaction of the interviewing officer that her employment, financial and family situation in Vietnam constituted sufficient ties to compel her to depart the United States.”

Ms. Huynh’s daughter, Yvonne AiVan Murray, spoke to the Washington Post about the emotional roller coaster of the last few weeks, saying: “My aunt happened to be the exact match - 100 per cent. We were all like, 'Hallelujah! All we have to do is fly her here.'” Murray explained, adding: “And that's when everything fell apart.”

Murray remains outraged by the decision, telling the Washington Post: “It's stupid. They are looking at you and want to see you went out of your country and came back. But in my aunt's case, she's had no interest in visiting other countries... She's not poor, but that's the mentality that these interviewers have: If you are from a less developed country, you won't leave.”

Ms. Huynh’s doctors have made valiant attempts to convince immigration authorities to let their patient’s sister enter the country. “For humanitarian reasons, we are requesting the patient's sister...be granted a Temporary Visa to enter the United States so that she can assist in donating her stem cells to save our patient's life,” read a letter from the UCI Center.

According to the Daily Mail, Ms. Huynh is in the midst of organizing a legal action against Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: ABC 7

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