SAN CARLOS, Calif. — A San Carlos nurse suffering from leukemia has found her perfect match for a life-saving bone marrow transplant. The problem is she can’t get him to the U.S.
Lynn Garcia spent more than two decades caring for others a nurse in ICU and specialty units in San Diego County. Now, she’s the one who’s in desperate need of care.
Garcia spoke to us via Zoom because she is immunocompromised. She’s been getting chemotherapy every 28 days until she can get a bone marrow transplant.
“I was really heartbroken,” said Garcia. “Angry, heartbroken.”
She recently found her brother who lives in the Philippines is her 100 percent perfect bone marrow match, but he was denied a visa by staff at the U.S. embassy in Manila.
“We were denied a visa,” said her brother’s wife Jan Carmen. “We attempted to show him the letters for his sister’s doctors in the United States, but he said that it won’t affect his decision. It won’t matter.”
Now, Lynn is raising funds on GoFundMe and working with a non-profit to get her brother to South Africa where a facility can collect his stems cells and send them to San Diego in time.
“Hearing the word that I have cancer is hard, but living with cancer is harder,” said Garcia. “I think the hardest part would be knowing that you have the treatment, knowing that you have the cure, but you can’t have it. That’s the hardest part.”
She’s now urging others to register as bone marrow donors to safe a life.
“Don’t be afraid to register because who knows you might be saving: your own family or your own friends. Don’t be afraid to be a hero. Just register and donate at BeTheMatch,” said Garcia.
Lynn’s immigration attorney says globally visitor visas to the U.S. are refused 15-30% of the time.
FOX 5 reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Manila and officials stated they are unable to respond to inquiries about visas or immigration.