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Local Leukemia Warrior

[Courtesy photo]

For seven years, Sharring Faamalo Aoelua Fanene Niusulu (from Afono, Aua and Nu'uuli) has been in search of a bone marrow match since she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in 2010.

In an effort to find a bone marrow match, she returned to American Samoa in 2011 to host a Bone Marrow Registry Drive, not just for herself, but for all those cancer patients in need of a bone marrow transplant.

According to the American Samoa Community Cancer Coalition (ASCCC), studies show that people with the same racial and ethnic background are more likely to have the same tissue traits. Unfortunately, none of Sharring's family members were a full match. Polynesian cancer patients have a harder time finding a match.

However, with modern improvements in medicine and technology, Sharring's brother, Elefasa Aoelua was determined eligible to be Sharring's bone marrow donor. Recently, Sharring received her bone marrow transplant in Texas, with the love and help of her brother.

Her mother, Faleula Aoelua-Sappa received the ASCCC $500 stipend check for her daughter who is recovering from her transplant surgery. She was born on Christmas Day so her family chose "Sharring" as her first name.

Mrs. Aoelua-Sappa expresses her love to all those who continue to "share" their money and gifts so that people like her daughter can receive help in their time of need.

She said Christmas was a lot merrier for her daughter and family, and Sharring will be using the money to pay off some bills.

ASCCC prays for a speedy recovery for both Sharring Niusulu and her brother Elefasa Aoelua.