A California woman is in the fight of her life, yet risks losing her battle against cancer because American immigration authorities refuse to allow her sister to travel to the US; tragically preventing the patient from getting the life-saving transplant she needs.
Helen Huynh, a Vietnamese-born mother of three, was diagnosed with a severe form of leukemia in February 2017. Despite her devastating diagnosis, doctors were convinced they would be able to save the woman’s life.
To beat the disease, Huynh would need a stem cell transplant from any donor that had a 70 percent match.
According to the Washington Post, Huynh’s sister in Vietnam happened to be a 100% genetic match, but has been barred from entering the United States for the procedure. US officials say they fear the sister would remain in America after her medical VISA expired, and have denied her application three times.
“Evidence may come in many forms, but when considered together, it must be enough for the interviewing officer to conclude that the applicant’s overall circumstances, including social, family, economic and other ties abroad, will compel him or her to leave the United States at the end of the temporary stay,” said an American official familiar with the matter.
“Regrettably, Ms. Nguyen was unable to establish to the satisfaction of the interviewing officer that her employment, financial and family situation in Vietnam constituted sufficient ties to compel her to depart the United States,” said the letter.
“We feel betrayed,” said the sick woman’s daughter. “We feel like we’re doing everything we can, we can show that we are Americans, yet there is only one thing preventing us from getting the stem cell transplant, and that’s the U.S. government.”
The family has created a GoFundMe page to raise money for Helen and her relatives.
“This fund is to help family members with expenses while taking time off work to help take care of Helen and other special needs family members, and funeral arrangement for Helen Huynh,” says the page.