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Minister, Taiko Teacher Needs Marrow Transplant

Tom Kurai is a minister at Sozenji Temple in Montebello and enjoys performing and teaching taiko. His favorite pastime is spending time with this 3-year-old grandson, Cody.

Kurai has been diagnosed with T-cell leukemia-lymphoma and is searching for a bone marrow donor.

For a marrow transplant to be successful, there must be a tissue match between donor and patient. If a family member is not a match, the next step is to test people from the patient’s ethnic group.

Kurai is now asking the Japanese American community for help. Currently, Japanese Americans only make up 0.3 percent of the national Be The Match Registry.

Potential donors must be between the ages of 18 and 44; be willing to donate to any patient in need; meet health guidelines; fill out a consent form and do a cheek swab.

To register online, go to or come to a drive organized by Asian American Donor Program (

“Please register today for Tom and other patients in need. Cody needs his ojiichan (grandpa) and the cure is in you,” said an AADP spokesperson.

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