Boy Donates Bone Marrow to Brother Adopted to
US<br><br> By Soh Ji-young<br> Staff Reporter <br><br> A
five-year-old boy yesterday had his bone marrow extracted<br>
to save the life of a previously unknown brother in
the United<br> States. <br><br> Lee Kyong-ho's
marrow, extracted at Asan Medical Center<br> (AMC) in
Seoul, will be sent to the U.S. to be transplanted<br>
into the boy's 14-year-old biological brother,
Byong-jo, who<br> is suffering from Fanconi anemia, a fatal
blood disease, and is<br> anxiously awaiting surgery.
<br><br> But until just a while ago, the two brothers did
not know of<br> each other's existence, let alone
meet, as the older brother was<br> given up for
adoption 13 years ago. <br><br> Driven by severe economic
hardship, Byong-jo's parents made<br> the difficult
decision to give up their first-born when he was<br> just
months old in 1988. <br><br> Through the Social Welfare
Society (SWS), Byong-jo was<br> able to find a new loving
home with his adoptive parents in<br> the U.S. But at
the age of three, Byong-jo, known better by his<br>
American name Thomas Sankey, was discovered to have<br>
symptoms of Fanconi anemia, one of the inherited anemias
that<br> lead to bone marrow failure. <br><br> Unable to
find a suitable bone marrow donor in the U.S.,<br>
Sankey's adoptive parents turned to the SWS for help,
and<br> were able to track down his Korean family.
<br><br> After conducting blood tests of all family
members, the<br> youngest, Kyong- ho, was found to match
Sankey's blood<br> genotype, and the operation was
performed by Dr. Thad Ghim<br> at AMC, upon request of
Sankey's pediatrician, Richard<br> Harris at the
Cincinnati Childen's Hospital in Ohio. <br><br> The bone
marrow, stored in a refrigerated box, will be<br>
delivered to Sankey later by Dr. Harris, who came to
Seoul<br> for this sole purpose. He left Incheon
International Airport<br> with the marrow yesterday afternoon.
It must be transplanted<br> within 48 hours of
extraction, or the operation cannot be<br> carried out.
<br><br> ``I hope the operation is successful, so that
Byong-jo can run<br> about in good heath,'' Byong-jo's
birth mother said. <br><br>jysoh@...