OAKLAND -- An African-American Bay Area man suffering from a rare form of leukemia who is in desperate need of a bone-marrow transplant has begun a nationwide drive with his wife in hopes of adding more diversity to the country's bone marrow donor list.

Over the next month, Kevin Weston and Lateefah Simon will work with various organizations to seek African-American bone marrow donors throughout the Bay Area.

According to the couple, only 7 percent of the country's 10 million registered bone-marrow donors are African-American making it more difficult for many to survive various diseases.

The donor drives will be held on four occasions over the next month starting Monday from¿ 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the African American Museum and Library in Oakland.

Other dates include:

-- Jan. 27, 3 to 5 p.m. at the Third Baptist Church in San Francisco

-- Feb. 11, 1 to 5 p.m. at San Francisco City Hall

-- Feb. 23, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Quad, 525 4th Street in Oakland.

Those interested in becoming a donor can find more information at www.marrow.org or at kevinandlateefah.com.



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