PLEASANTON-- Janet Liang, a 2005 Amador Valley High School graduate and advocate for bone marrow and stem cell transplants, died Wednesday after a three-year battle with leukemia. She was 25.
Liang was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2009 at the age of 22 while studying at UCLA. After undergoing a series of chemotherapy treatments and going into remission in June 2010, she was eventually able to graduate.
The cancer returned in 2011, prompting a widely publicized search for a bone marrow or stem cell donor match. After multiple bone marrow registration drives in search of a donor, a match was recently found for Liang. She received a bone marrow transplant on Sept. 5, and died one week
The "Help Janet" campaign, launched in 2009 upon her diagnosis, took off upon her relapse, inspiring drives across the country bearing her name. Videos produced by Liang for her YouTube blog went viral, with more than 520,000 views at the time of her death.
"Despite battling leukemia for three years, she has always found it within her to make her situation more than about herself," said a quote from a statement on the "Help Janet" Facebook page. "Her campaign to raise awareness and advocating for bone marrow donors was for the love of her fellow humans."
Liang worked closely with the Asian American Donor Program (AADP), an Alameda-based community nonprofit, speaking publicly to large groups, volunteering at various
"AADP asks that if you registered in Janet's name, please honor her memory by being a committed donor," says Carol Gillespie, executive director of AADP.
To join the bone marrow registry, go to www.aadp.org and go to the web page that lists drives, where you can find a drive in your area or request a home kit. For more information, call 800-593-6667.
Contact Erin Ivie at 925-847-2122. Follow her at Twitter.com/erin_ivie.