DKMS patient, Yolanda, is searching for a stem cell donor.
DKMS patient, Yolanda, is searching for a stem cell donor.

Find Yolanda's Hero

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The story of Yolanda

Yolanda has spent her life helping others and now she needs your help.

DKMS patient, Yolanda Lee, with her family

Yolanda Lee is a 57-year-old, devoted wife, loving mother of 4, and doting grandmother of 4 who was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS); a rare disease of the blood where the stem cells no longer mature into healthy blood cells and the only cure is a stem cell transplant. MDS often does not cause early symptoms and are sometimes found in a routine blood test.

Yolanda woke up on December 26th, 2022 with a large bruise on her right side. She went to the ER and was immediately hospitalized due to critically low hemoglobin and platelet counts. After being hospitalized for 4 days of testing, she was diagnosed with MDS.

She retired from the Houston Fire Department after 24 years of service as an engineer operator, and also served in the U.S. Army for 28 years. Her service didn't stop after her diagnosis. She continues to serve alongside her husband, Pastor James Lee, who oversees a local food pantry that feeds over 12,000 clients monthly. She assists with pastoral care and ministering to and serving those in need. With that being said, she needs her community to help her find a blood stem cell donor.

"I am asking if you will kindly swab to see if you are a match, it only takes 5 minutes of your time to save a life. Thank you for considering being a donor for her, and the 50,000 others awaiting a stem cell transplant... May God bless you as you be a blessing to others!" - James, Yolanda's husband.

After a potential donor is determined, the donation is done through two (2) IVs, similar to donating plasma, except one of the IVs returns your blood to you and sifts out the stems cell donation.

A quick 3 minute cheek swab is all it takes to potential be a match for Yolanda and so many others!

DKMS Contact Person

Raegan Bell
Donor Recruitment Coordinator

Sign up for a swab kit online. It only takes 5 minutes. You provide hope. We cover the rest.