Dr. Anh Reiss was a Houston doctor who delivered more than 7,000 babies and was an inspiration to us all before dying from preleukemia on Feb. 26, 2016. Her condition could only be cured by a bone marrow transplant, and she never found a match.
This year on Feb. 26, we honor Dr. Reiss and her legacy through the first-ever Texas Bone Marrow, Blood, and Organ Donation Registry Day, established through the work of State Rep. Gene Wu and passed into law last year.
“By taking the necessary steps to become donors, Texans can be part of a life-saving process that benefits countless men, women, and children each year, and the anniversary of Dr. Reiss's death serves as a fitting date to focus attention on this important issue,” reads a House resolution on the day.
Though Dr. Reiss was unable to find a match on her own, she worked tirelessly to spread awareness about the need for donors. There now are twice as many Vietnamese donors on the bone marrow registry list because of Dr. Reiss and her family.
The Blood Center is excited to join Be The Match, LifeGift and Rep. Wu in remembering the legacy of Dr. Reiss and encouraging our community to help us save lives.
You can learn more about all of our organizations, and The Blood Center will host a blood drive from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 26, at Legacy Community Health's Southwest Clinic, 6441 High Star Dr., in Houston. As always, you can find a place to donate near you any day of the week.
How can you help?
Life is precious, and your help is critical to patients in our local hospitals. Get involved to see the beauty of a united community dedicated to saving lives:
• Donate blood. Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center needs 1,000 donations a day to serve patients in Southeast Texas. Visit giveblood.org for more information.
• Join Be the Match. By volunteering to join the registry, you could become someone’s cure. To become a stem cell/marrow donor, text “Texas” to 61474.
• Register to donate an organ. Save up to eight lives through organ donation and more through tissue donation. Visit lifegift.org for more information.