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Viet’s Story

I would like to introduce myself and ask for help in search of a potential cure.  My name is Viet Lam and I am 37 years old.  I am grateful for the many wonderful opportunities that were given to me.  I was born and lived in Vietnam for eleven years before my two siblings and I defected on a small boat.  After refugee camps, we settled in the United States of America.  Through the generosity and the kindness of many people, I graduated from college and went on to obtain a medical degree.

Practicing internal medicine in California allowed me to serve a diverse community.  Yet, I did not truly grasp what my patients and their families go through until May 2007 when unexpectedly, I was diagnosed with an advanced aggressive Large B-cell Lymphoma.  How could it be possible when I led such an active life?  I did not have significant symptoms, except intense itching.  After going through the usual emotional stages, I was determined to overcome this obstacle.  With the help of a great medical team and loved ones, I successfully went through eight cycles of R-CHOP chemotherapy.  Equipped with a new life perspective, I lived each day to its fullest.  In 2009, a wave of suspicion and fear crashed over me when the same intense itching and new profound fatigue hit me.  It was confirmed that I had widespread recurrence.  My determination and optimism did not reward me with a remission after an additional three cycles of R-ICE chemotherapy.    I do not have a matched donor in my family, like 70% of patients needing a marrow transplant.  Therefore, my only chance for a potential cure is an unrelated donor match.

My Chinese Vietnamese ethnicity provides me not only a unique life perspective, but it also makes it much more difficult to find a match. This is why I am asking you, particularly those from a Non-Caucasian background to consider being a potential donor. There is a tremendous and urgent need for thousands of people who continually hope for a miracle.  I am encouraged and hopeful that we can expand our national registry and particularly those of under represented backgrounds.  Through your awareness and support, I believe that we can both close the registry gap and provide a second chance at life for those thousands of patients.  I thank you for learning more about the National Marrow Donor Program and for the gift of life.

An online drive has been set up for those who could not attend local drives.  For further information, please visit

Best regards,

Viet Lam

Latest Journal Update


Hi Everyone,

It has brought to our attention of the identity theft concern, so we will not post any more message about Viet after this update.

Too much has happened since last update.

Summary: Viet has been discharged from the hospital and has been doing the daily long clinic visits to Stanford and needs 24/7 coverage.  Her doctors have prepared us to expect a long and slow recovery.   Viet thinks of you guys all the time and she is very appreciative of your thoughts and prayers.  However, she doesn't feel well enough to use computer, telephone, etc to express so.  You'll definitely hear from her as soon as she could.

Thank you very much for all you've done for us, and many other patients, during this journey. 

Have a wonderful memorial day weekend.