Amb Ricciardone Calls on ATAA, Turkish Americans to Save Child’s Life

Sayin Baskan Kırlıkovalı,
I write to bring to your attention a sad story of a 17-year old Turkish child suffering from leukemia, which I learned about in Turkish media ( 08:22:00&i=67288). It seems the boy, Göksel Özdemir, has been given just two months to live unless he can find a suitable donor. He and his doctor thought they had found a donor in the United States, but unfortunately the individual reportedly changed his or her mind, as is of course anyone’s right in such a sensitive personal decision. Göksel’s mother, Mrs. Buket Burkaç, has appealed to me to assist. Our medical staff here at the Embassy have advised me that as a scientific matter, there is a far higher probability of finding a bone marrow match for her son among the Turkish population than among the (non-Turkish-origin rest of the) North American population. Given the large number of Turks and Turkish-Americans living in the United States, I thought that the ATAA membership might be interested to know about this painful case, and might indeed be able to extend the search for a suitable donor for this unfortunate child. Our Embassy would be very pleased to assist you or any ATAA members who may wish to communicate directly with Mrs. Burkaç.
Francis J. Ricciardone
US Ambassador
Republic of Turkey
tel: +90 312 457 7280