berkeley city council presents resolution honoring michelle

Tonight in Berkeley, the City Council will present a resolution honoring the life and work of Michelle Maykin to her mother, Megan Williams. Maykin passed away this summer on July 25th after a several year battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. You know her as the inspirational force behind Project Michelle.

Maykin, who is of Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai descent, could not find a match for the bone marrow transplant she needed for her treatment. Recognizing the acute need for ethnic minority and multi-racial donors, she created Project Michelle, a campaign that organized blood marrow registration drives around the country. Here's the resolution:

WHEREAS, The City of Berkeley mourns the untimely loss of Michelle Maykin, who passed away on July 25th, 2009 after a courageous battle with cancer; and

WHEREAS, Michelle Maykin spent much of her young adulthood in the East Bay - graduating from College Park High School, where she served as ASB president, and later UC Berkeley in 2004; and

WHEREAS, Michelle Maykin enjoyed an active life bicycling across the Golden Gate Bridge, rock climbing, excelling in dance and music at Bay Area Thai Temples, including Wat Mongkolratanaram in Berkeley and volunteering at various organizations, including the Juvenile Detention Center in San Jose, OASES at UC Berkeley and Tzu Chi in San Francisco; and

WHEREAS, Michelle Maykin, who is of Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai descent, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in February of 2007; and

WHEREAS, Michelle Maykin's treatment called for a bone marrow transplant, however, she did not have a bone marrow match; and

WHEREAS, There is a particularly acute need for ethnic minority donors - of the nearly 7 million people on the National Marrow Donor Program, only 8 percent are of Asian ancestry; and

WHEREAS, Michelle Maykin dedicated herself to helping others by creating Project Michelle, a campaign focused on recruiting people to become potential bone marrow donors; and

WHEREAS, In drives around the country, Project Michelle has registered over 18,000 people on the Be The Match Registry, increasing the likelihood that others needing a bone marrow transplant may have a match; and

WHEREAS, Project Michelle was able to help find 4 matches in the Bay Area for patients in need; and

WHEREAS, More than 70 life-threatening diseases can be treated with a bone marrow transplant; and

WHEREAS, Registering only takes 10 minutes and requires no blood, just a simple cotton swab of the mouth. Additionally, if one is an ethnic minority, one can order a free at home test kit; and

WHEREAS, the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) website can be used to find the nearest registry drive at http://www.marrow.org.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the City of Berkeley that it hereby honors the amazing life of Michelle Maykin, whose courageous fight has inspired thousands to register to save lives; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of Berkeley encourages all people to register to become bone marrow donors and encourages all people to organize blood marrow registration drives in their communities.

Adopted unanimously by the Berkeley City Council on September 22, 2009

Mayor Tom Bates
Councilmember Linda Maio
Councilmember Darryl Moore
Councilmember Max Anderson
Councilmember Jesse ArreguĂ­n
Councilmember Laurie Capitelli
Councilmember Susan Wengraf
Councilmember Kriss Worthington
Councilmember Gordon Wozniak
Project Michelle successfully registered over 18,000 people, increasing the likelihood that others needing a bone marrow transplant may have a match. In fact, she found four matches in the Bay Area for other patients in need.

Michelle's friends are also working to pass even more resolutions which encourage bone marrow registration in other cities where she outreached during her two-year campaign. For more information on the work to continue Michell's legacy, visit the Project Michelle website here.

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