Thursday 30th of March 2017

In Memoriam Sara Aixin Curtis Ruehling

August 17, 1998 – August 15, 2005


It is with great sadness that we note the passing of one of our children, Sara Aixin Curtis Ruehling, a brave little girl born in Jiangsu, China. She lived in the town of Three Rivers California, nestled in the foothills of the Sierras near Sequoia National Park, home of the largest living thing on earth. In 2004, she was diagnosed with two rare forms of leukemia. Her plight helped awaken us to the need for non-Caucasian bone marrow registration here and in China.

More about Sara can be learned at www.marrowforsara.org. Please heed the request to help organize more bone marrow registration drives, and recruit more friends, family and other volunteers to register as a donor. If a match cannot be found within the biological family (only 30% of matches come this way), matches are most commonly found within the same ethnic group. A match could not be found for Sara, in part because there is very low representation among Asians and other people of color in the registry, maintained by National Marrow Donor Program, and much work needs to be done to link China’s registries to the NMDP to make searches more successful for all Asians who need this lifesaving treatment.

Please work to continue bone marrow donor registrations in Sara’s memory since it is clear that any of us could be the parent of such a child in need.

We join her family in mourning this tragic loss, but even more than that, in celebrating her short but full life as a playful, talented artist and loving child, daughter, sister and cousin.

A memorial service for Sara was held at the Visalia Friends Meetinghouse on Sun Aug. 28, 2005. In the surrounding orchard, prayer flags made by her friends, family, members of the meeting, and the children in her school fluttered in the breeze, as countless members of her community stood and recounted Sara's humor, bravery, and pluck. The courage, tenacity and optimism of this little girl was reflected in her parents, Robert and Ginger, and her big sister Kelsey. We, the members of her FCC community, mourn their loss, and ours.

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