PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - December 22, 2010) - This season, turn a holiday miracle into a reality by helping Sonia Rai in her fight against Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). Sonia is 24-year-old analyst from Boston who is very active in the South Asian community, including board positions with NetSAP Boston and a co-founder role in Upakar, an Indian-American scholarship foundation. She was diagnosed with AML only a week ago and now each day is a fight for survival. Sonia is currently undergoing intense chemotherapy and is in urgent need of a bone marrow transplant to survive beyond the next few months.

Sonia's best chance to find a match is among the South Asian community. There are currently not enough South Asians registered as donors and her chances among the registered population are only one in 20,000.

You can help. Join in the fight against AML and become a registered donor today -- all it takes is a quick cheek swab and, if you are a match, the procedure is not invasive; it's like getting blood drawn.

Not only will your awareness and participation help Sonia's battle with leukemia, but it will pave the way for others in this position in the future. The process is quick and painless and could help save someone's life.

How Can I Help?

1. Get registered immediately.

  • Register now, it is quick and simple. No blood test is required -- all you need to do is fill out a few forms and get a non-invasive cheek swab. If you are found to be a possible match, you will be contacted by the National Registry or your local center. Register online at
  • Come to one of Team Sonia's events within the South Asian community happening on New Year's Eve (12/31/10) and New Year's Day (1/1/11) in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and other major cities around the country. To find an event in your area, go to

2. Spread the word.

  • Tell people about the need for South Asian donors by posting on your Facebook wall. We've been posting with: "Please help Sonia Rai win her fight against leukemia! Visit to join the movement!"
  • Promote local drives within your network so more people attend and register in person. Local drive information will always be up-to-date at If you'd like to volunteer at one of our Bone Marrow Drives, contact
  • Sponsor a drive in your community. Simply set up a table at an existing event. For more information and help on this, please contact

3. Be informed and join the team.

  • Learn about AML and find answers to frequently asked questions on registering at
  • Join Team Sonia by volunteering your time/services, please contact

What is AML?

  • AML, Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, is cancer that starts inside bone marrow, the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells.
  • The cancer grows from cells that would normally turn into white blood cells.
  • Acute means the infection develops quickly and a blood marrow transfusion is the only potential cure for this deadly disease.

What is a bone marrow transfusion? How does it work?

  • Unlike a bone marrow donation, which many people see as invasive and painful, a bone marrow transfusion is most commonly done via peripheral blood stem cell collection. It does not require any surgery and is similar to a blood donation.
  • The donor is given injections to support overproduction of marrow, which is then released into circulating blood. The cells are collected by removing blood from the arm during a simple procedure that takes just a couple hours.

Contact Information:

Julie Crabill
P: 408-219-5617
Interviews and Images Available By Request