STF announces recipients of 2021 Jimmie and Suey Fong Yee Fellowship

By Nader Issa

The Asian American Journalists Association’s Sports Task Force is pleased to announce Cora Hall and Pranav Iyer as the recipients of the 2021 Jimmie & Suey Fong Yee Fellowship, generously funded by prominent sports agent Don Yee.

The $1,000 awards will go toward registration for the 2021 AAJA national convention later this year, and for the first time will cover expenses associated with reporting a story about Asians or Asian Americans in sports that the two recipients pitched as part of their applications. Hall and Iyer are the 10th and 11th overall recipients of the award.

“Thank you to the STF panel for their work on the 2021 Jimmy & Suey Fong Yee Fellowship,” Yee said. “Our family is very appreciative of STF’s efforts in going through each applicant’s pitch – and we had more applicants than ever to this point.” 

“There were many applicants who proved to be qualified,” STF chairman Josh Tolentino said. “AAJA Sports Task Force is extremely grateful for Don Yee’s continued support and his commitment in helping better diversify the sports journalism industry and also advocate for more Asian Americans in sports.”

The fellowship was established with Yee’s support to honor his parents. Yee is one of the NFL’s most respected talent agents, representing several star players and coaches, including Tom Brady, Jimmy Garappolo, Julian Edelman and Sean Payton. Yee said he was excited about both recipients after learning more about their backgrounds, scholarly accomplishments and story pitches.

“Cora’s application asked excellent questions; questions that typically go unanswered or ignored. Cora’s voice and perspective is one that I am excited to support,” Yee said.

“Pranav’s self-initiative shined through in his application. The website,, founded by Pranav, is one-of-a-kind, and I am honored to help him further his career with this fellowship.”

In addition to attending the AAJA national convention toward the end of the summer, Hall and Iyer will work over the next few months — with the help and guidance of the Sports Task Force — to report and pursue the stories they pitched for the fellowship. 

Hall is set to graduate later this spring from Ferris State University in Michigan, where she serves as the editor-in-chief of her student newspaper, the Ferris State Torch. She’s interested in investigative sports reporting and said she enjoys the research that goes into those in-depth stories. Hall is also part of this year’s Sports Journalism Institute.

She will attend SJI, a journalism program created to help women and minorities into newsrooms, later this summer and intern at the Kansas City Star as part of the program.

For her story, Hall plans to examine the reasons behind the disproportionate lack of Asian Americans in collegiate sports. Her pitch was heavy on well-researched statistics that show a dramatic rise in Asian American populations in the United States hasn’t led to much increase in Asian American college athletes.

“It’s going to be a really valuable opportunity for me, more than I could really even say,” Hall said of the fellowship. “Because I came out of a really small school, and being able to have an opportunity this big and being able to work to get a story published in probably a bigger publication than I could have done on my own, having that connection is going to do a lot for me.

“It definitely means a lot to me because I come from a high school and a college that are not super diverse or don’t have a very big Asian community. So to find other people from the same culture, from the same background pursuing the same things as me, and to have mentors like that, it’s just another level of encouragement, mentorship that I’ve been looking for.”

Iyer is due to earn a master’s degree in journalism this spring at the University of Southern California. He graduated in May 2020 from Chapman University in California, where he played Division-III football.

While still in school in December 2019, Iyer launched AMAZN HQ, a publication dedicated to covering Asian American athletes, which he called his biggest reporting passion. Iyer said his identity and race play a big part in his work because, while he grew up in a predominantly Asian American community, not many around him dreamt of playing football or being a journalist. Then when he went to pursue his dream of playing football, he was not only the first Indian American teammate his peers ever had, but for some, he was the first Indian they’d ever met. That’s why Iyer was inspired by Yee’s work as an agent in the sports industry.

Jimmie and Suey Fong Yee illustration by Sally Deng

“Just hearing his story is inspirational,” Iyer said. “And he talks about the Asian American community and his passion for uplifting the community too, that is something that aligns directly with what I hope to do with my career.

“Those are really the types of stories that can help to inspire the community, can help to inspire that change — to give the younger generation inspiration but also to teach society that this change can happen and to see Asian American athletes in a different light.”

Iyer plans to report on an incoming wave of Asians and Asian Americans in professional sports that, while maybe not huge in numbers, looks as promising as ever and could shift the perception of Asian athletes.

Hall and Iyer both believe their introduction into the AAJA community will give them the support and connection they need to survive and grow in their profession.

Don Yee

“My identity plays a lot in the way I do my work and the way I view the industry as a whole,” Hall said. “That status quo as it is, reporters aren’t always thinking about these things. And it’s always the same people getting the same coverage and same voices being uplifted. And I’ve seen a lot of change in that and it’s really inspiring to me and influenced me over the last couple years and how I approach my work.”

“Seeing that representation and being able to connect with them and relate on certain struggles, certain upbringings and how to navigate through some of those, I think that is super important,” Iyer said. “Having that opportunity to form that community, to build these relationships, it’s so much bigger than just networking. I’m hoping it’s in a sense creating a family. …It’s organizations like these that allow people like me to pursue this past the dream.”

2021 Jimmie and Suey Fong Yee Fellowship judging panel
– Josh Tolentino, The Athletic
– Joon Lee, ESPN
– Nicole Yang, Boston Globe
– Michael Huang, ESPN
– Shehan Jeyarajah, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football

Don Yee: “I support STF because I see an army of warriors who’ll tell great stories”

Donald H. Yee is a lawyer and partner with Yee & Dubin Sports, which represents professional athletes and coaches, including Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton.

This statement was prepared by Yee and presented to the Asian American Journalists Association’s Sports Task Force during a virtual panel held Feb. 18. ESPN’s Michele Steele delivered his message.

Don Yee

Thanks to all of you for being here tonight. And thanks to STF for providing me with this platform to pass on this message.

I would like to briefly address two topics tonight: one, the process of finding a job, and two, the environment of rising anti-Asian violence we’re seeing around the world.

I feel like I’ve been trying to find a job my entire life; in fact, one of the reasons I have my own business is because I simply couldn’t find a job that would allow me to grow in the way that I wanted, and without compromising my value system.  But while I was looking, I, like many others, went through a lot of rejection, humiliation and embarrassment. There were many, many lows.

I finally came out the other end. And as you begin your job search, there is one trait I have tried to develop within myself, that I believe may help you with your search, and that trait is ‘resilience.’ 

Resilience is kind of the conclusion, so here are the components that you might want to keep in my mind as you consider developing this trait.

  • First, know that rejection is just part of the process – it’s going to happen, but it really does happen to everyone. 
  • Second, generally speaking, rejection isn’t personal. When I was starting out, I used to personalize my failures and immaturely lash out at decision-makers. I finally learned that, generally speaking, sometimes the decision-makers just made a decision that literally had nothing to do with me, but something more positive about someone else.
  • Third, don’t be bashful about asking for help. Learning how to ask for your help is a skill, and if you can overcome any shyness or reluctance, there are a lot of people who are willing to help – even if just a bit. 
  • Fourth, slowly develop your own network or community, and attending this Zoom is a great start.
  • Fifth, be proactive. I would tell myself to just try to do one thing a day that advances me toward my goal; no matter how big or small. I tell my clients all the time that it’s hard to get a rebound if you’re outside the 3-point arc – but if every day you’re inching closer to be under the basket, you increase the chance the ball falls in your hands.

Finally, many of you may be aware of the rising anti-Asian violence. I actually dispute the ‘rising’ part as reported by mainstream media; in my personal experience, there’s always been lots of violence. On a personal note, my barely 5-foot tall mother was mugged twice – from behind – while in her 80’s. I have had many ugly emotions about these events and still do. I still get emotional thinking about it.

I don’t have many answers about what to do, but I do have theories right now. And one is, based on my own experience:  keep self-actualizing, in essence, forming who you really are – be conscious of it.  Ignore prevailing “narratives” on how to think or conforming to something that doesn’t feel authentic to you. Each of you is unique with different talents, and even though I’m not a journalist, I support STF because I see an army of warriors who’ll tell great stories. Maybe, just maybe, the stories will lead to more knowledge, and maybe that helps reduce the violence.

Thank you for your time and allowing me to share this with you.

Yee is one of Sports Task Force’s greatest supporters. He currently provides two annual fellowships to college students and recent graduates interested in sports journalism. Don created the fellowship to honor his parents, Jimmie and Suey Fong Yee.

Jimmie and Suey Fong Yee illustration by Sally Deng

AAJA Sports Task Force issues guidance on coverage of Marlins’ general manager Kim Ng

The Asian American Journalists Association Sports Task Force urges contextualized and comprehensive news coverage around the racial identity of Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng.

The proper way of characterizing someone’s racial or ethnic background is a complex matter of identity and culture. The question has emerged again with the Marlins’ hiring of Ng.

The AAJA Sports Task Force urges newsrooms to be mindful in their language of Ng’s racial identity, the ways she has described her own upbringing and background, and the accurate representation of people of Asian descent in past leadership roles.

–Kim Ng’s father is an Asian American of Chinese descent. Her mother was born in Thailand and is of Thai Chinese descent. Ng was born in Indiana. Ng has publicly embraced her Chinese descent. 

–It is accurate to refer to Ng as the first woman, first Chinese American or first East Asian American to hold the title general manager of a Major League Baseball club.

–Ng is not the first Asian American to hold that title. That was an incorrect statement, oft-repeated Friday and throughout the weekend following her hiring. Farhan Zaidi, president of baseball operations for the San Francisco Giants, served as GM of the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2015-18. Zaidi was born in Canada, is of Pakistani descent and grew up in the Philippines. While South Asians – such as Indians and Pakistanis – classify themselves as Asian, others are likely to misidentify them, reflecting patterns of “South Asian exclusion” and “racial assignment incongruity.”

–“Asian American” is an accurate and encompassing term to describe both Ng and Zaidi, as it applies to those from the continent of Asia.

–For additional context, it would be accurate to say “Ng will be in charge of all player-personnel decisions such as trades, free agent acquisitions and draft picks for the Marlins.”

–Proper pronunciation: Kim Ng (ANG).

We advise news organizations to consider the point of the story as well as the target audience when writing headlines and articles about the groundbreaking nature of Ng’s hiring.


Josh Tolentino, Chair

Melissa Kim, Communications


AAJA Sports Task Force promotes diversity in the sports media industry through mentorships, scholarships and outreach programs. AAJA STF is proud of its work with other multicultural organizations to champion diversity.

For more information, contact the STF.
Twitter: @AAJASports
Instagram: @aaja_stf
Facebook: Asian American Sports Journalists

AAJA’s Sports Task Force Presents Free Career Zoom Session with ESPN Anchor Kevin Negandhi

The Asian American Journalists Association’s Sports Task Force (AAJA STF) is introducing an interactive professional development series called Career Café, a one-hour Zoom Q&A with journalism leaders to foster a more diverse and inclusive industry. Career Café offers the rare opportunity for attendees to directly interact with industry thought leaders in an intimate setting.

The inaugural installment features groundbreaking ESPN anchor Kevin Negandhi, the first Indian American to ever anchor at a national sports network. Negandhi will discuss wide-ranging topics, from his journey from Temple University to award-winning SportsCenter host, to overcoming obstacles and becoming a South Asian journalism pioneer. Career Café’s casual vibe invites interaction and participants are encouraged to ask questions.

When: Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, 1-2pm ET.
Cost: FREE (AAJA membership is encouraged) 


The event is open to all supporters of diversity and inclusion. While free of charge, future engagement with the AAJA Sports Task Force, including AAJA membership, is encouraged.


AAJA Sports Task Force promotes diversity in the sports media industry through mentorships, scholarships and outreach programs. AAJA STF is proud of its work with other multicultural organizations to champion diversity.

For more information, contact the STF: Twitter: @AAJASports
Instagram: @aaja_stf
Facebook: Asian American Sports Journalists Web:

Roshan Fernandez wins 2020 Al Young Sports Journalism Scholarship

By Josh Tolentino

Roshan Fernandez

The Asian American Journalists Association Sports Task Force is proud to announce Roshan Fernandez as the 2020 winner of the Al Young Sports Journalism Scholarship. 

Fernandez, a magazine, newspaper and digital journalism major at Syracuse, is the fifth overall – and first freshman – recipient of the award. 

“Roshan’s accomplishments, dedication and passion as a sports journalist, at such a young age, caught my eye immediately,” said Young, an executive member of AAJA’s Sports Task Force. “I was extremely impressed by his skillset as a writer, interviewer and editor – traits usually found in seasoned journalists and honed over time.” 

“Roshan’s an all-star,” said AAJA Sports Task Force co-chair Michael Huang. “Sports Task Force sees a tremendous future for this young man. The Asian American sports journalism community needs to continue to foster young talent such as Roshan to ensure AAPIs are represented in all newsrooms.” 

Fernandez grew up in Northern California and first became involved with sports reporter as a junior in high school. He worked as a visuals editor at his school newspaper before becoming editor in chief during his senior year. It was then he noticed his interest in sports journalism didn’t match those of his friends. 

“Everyone said they wanted to be a bio major or work at Apple or Google,” Fernandez said. “I was never really interested in those types of things.” 

While working at his high school paper, El Estoque, Fernandez developed a passion in interviewing subjects across the school, specifically in sports. His favorites were soccer and baseball and he felt like he was able to relate easily to many of the athletes. 

“I found it interesting because I sort of knew what they were going through as a student athlete and I wanted to tell their stories,” Fernandez said. “I learned soccer wasn’t going to be my future, and I realized journalism was actually what I wanted to do.” 

Heading into his senior year, Fernandez landed a spot at Northwestern’s Medill Cherubs program, a five-week summer journalism institute intended for rising seniors seeking the inside scoop on professional journalism and looking to connect with peers who are just as passionate about pursuing the same career. 

Fernandez outside the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University

After enrolling at Syracuse, Fernandez joined the campus newspaper, the Daily Orange, where he currently serves as a digital editor. Although his spring semester courses on campus were derailed by COVID-19 concerns, Fernandez is still attending online courses from his home in Cupertino, Calif. Upon completion of the spring semester, he is set to intern with the Chatam Anglers of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Fernandez aspires to be a professional baseball beat reporter. 

“Baseball has it’s 5-tool player, but I think we’ve found our own freshman phenom,” Young said. 

When Fernandez was recently informed he was recipient of the Al Young Sports Journalism Scholarship, he spoke with Young over the phone.

The Al Young Scholarship is dedicated to Young, the first Asian American sports writer to work for a metro daily newspaper. Young worked for several outlets, including the New York Daily News, Boston Globe and USA TODAY before retiring in 2012.   

“He’s had an amazing career, it means a lot for someone to have high praise for a kid like me,” Fernandez said. “He’s been super helpful in terms of giving me advice and guiding me for my future.”

Fernandez hopes to attend his first AAJA convention soon and he plans to become more active within the Bay Area chapter. 

“I hope that,” Young said. “Winning this scholarship so early in his college career will continue to propel him to even greater heights down the road.”

Eric He wins 2019 Al Young Sports Journalism Scholarship

By Josh Tolentino 

The Asian American Journalists Association is proud to announce Eric He as the fourth recipient of the Al Young Sports Journalism Scholarship. 

Eric He, USC senior

“Eric was locked in on a sports journalism career at an early age, starting in high school with his launch of a local Bay Area sports website that drew 2.8 million hits its first year,” said Young, an executive member of AAJA’s Sports Task Force. “His commitment and dedication to that pursuit continued to grow as managing editor of Southern Cal’s Daily Trojan, along with prestigious internships at USA TODAY,  NBC Sports and, covering all levels of sports.

“I’m delighted this scholarship will help him move a step closer to achieving  his lifelong dream.” 

He, a senior a Southern California, first became involved with sports reporting during his sophomore year of high school, when he created his own blog. He recalled not having a large audience, but he had aspirations of becoming a storyteller. He covered local sports teams close to home around the Bay Area. 

“No one really read it, just my parents,” He said. “I blogged everyday. Eventually, I got better at it and realized it was something I could see myself doing in the future. It set me on the right path.” 

By the end of his high school career, He was covering the San Jose Sharks for a local media outlet, SF Bay. He also covered local high school football. His passion for storytelling followed him to USC, where he is currently finishing his bachelors degree in journalism. 

“Like the athletes he covers, Eric has shown his early drive and passion for journalism,” said AAJA Sports Task Force co-chair Victoria Lim. “We’re honored he is part of the AAJA Sports Task Force, and we look forward to watching him turn pro.”

Upon graduation in May, He will intern at the Los Angeles Daily News, as part of this year’s Sports Journalism Institute. 

“Knowing who Al Young is and the role he played in paving the path for Asian American sports journalists, I’m very grateful,” He said. “There are people like him out there, who come back and contribute.”

He attended his first AAJA convention in 2017 in Philadelphia. Following the convention, he returned to USC for his junior year and became more involved with his local AAJA chapter.

“I’ve become a better journalist because of AAJA,” He said. “It’s a unique experience to not only be part of the organization but also lead our student chapter and watch it grow.” 

When He was informed he was recipient of the 2019 Al Young Sports Journalism Scholarship, he spoke with Young over the phone. He said their conversation was inspiring, and he plans to meet Young for the first time at this year’s AAJA convention in Atlanta. 

Al Young

The Al Young Scholarship is dedicated to Young, the first Asian American sports writers to work for a metro daily newspaper. Young worked for several outlets, including the New York Daily News, Boston Globe and USA TODAY before retiring in 2012. 

“It was really empowering to speak with him and have him give me advice and confidence that I can continue down this path with things like the scholarship,” He said. “I know I’m on the right path.” 

STF Announces Recipients of 2018 Jimmie and Suey Fong Yee Scholarship

By Josh Tolentino

The Asian American Journalists Association Sports Task Force is pleased to announce that Pablo Iglesias and Souichi Terada are this year’s recipients of the the 2018 Jimmie & Suey Fong Yee Scholarship, funded by prominent sports agent Don Yee.

The $1,000 scholarships will help cover expenses related to travel and accommodations for the 2018 AAJA convention in Houston.

“There were many applicants who proved to be qualified,” said Sports Task Force chairman Howard Chen. “So for Pablo and Souichi to stand out from that group means a lot. 

“AAJA Sports Task Force is so thankful for Don Yee’s support of diversity in sports journalism. His contribution will help Pablo and Souichi take further steps in accomplishing their dreams.”

Representing many clients, including Tom Brady and Jimmy Garappolo, Yee has developed into one of the NFL’s most-respected agents. He said he was very impressed with Iglesias and Terada.

“Both (Iglesias and Terada) have demonstrated drive and perseverance – they have an inner passion, and that is a big key to any success,” Yee said. “All of us will experience ups and downs in our journey, and perseverance is an important trait to have.”

Iglesias, a graduate of Bradley University, said his family’s story was similar to Yee’s.

“I related to Don’s story in a similar way – there are challenges as minorities that we go through,” Iglesias said. We can’t be afraid of those challenges. I’ve tried to hold myself to those standards. That doesn’t mean you should fall down to them. You need to continue to challenge yourself.”

After graduating from Bradley in Spring 2017, Iglesias returned to his alma mater, Mount Carmel High School, to work in the athletic department as a multimedia marketing specialist. He also freelances for Eagle Broadcasting Corporation, a television based in the Philippines. He recently covered the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four in San Antonio.

Iglesias attended his first AAJA convention last year in Philadelphia. He said his involvement with AAJA has helped him immensely.

“Growing up, I was probably one of if not the only minority in any group, outside of my family,” he said. “Going to AAJA was a different type of experience. It was such a great experience. It gave me the empowering feeling as an Asian American that we could make it.

“The love and support – we all root for each other and share our stories. AAJA and the STF was a welcoming community.”

Terada, a rising senior at Michigan State University, said AAJA has helped pave a path for him in journalism.

Terada works on campus as a sports reporter for Michigan State’s student newspaper, The State News. He is interning this summer at the Tennessean, as part of the Sports Journalism Institute.

“I’m really excited to meet the AAJA family,” Terada said. “It’s cool knowing there is a group of like-minded professionals of the same color and background. AAJA’s mission really hits home.

“At Michigan State, I use diversity as a big platform to spread awareness.”

Don Yee

The 2018 AAJA convention marks the third consecutive year Yee is providing financial aid to the AAJA Sports Task Force. Former Jimmie and Suey Fong Yee Scholarship recipients include Josh Tolentino, Charlie Lapastora and Daniel Tran.

“My parents raised their children to understand that the best purpose in life is to lend a helping hand to others,” Yee said. “I’m just privileged to be in a position to help.  I actually feel lucky to get to know the next generation of talent and leaders.”

Yee stressed an important message to Iglesias, Terada and other aspiring Asian American journalists.

“Asian stories are just as important as any others,” Yee said. “A lot of us have grown up on Western media where we essentially are invisible, and this type of media diet can cause us to minimize our own existence. I hope Pablo and Souichi will keep this in mind as they pursue their careers.”

Tami Nguyen of Boston University Wins Coveted STF’s ESPN Internship

By Josh Tolentino

The Asian American Journalists Association Sports Task Force is proud to announce Tami Nguyen as the second winner of its ESPN internship.

Nguyen is graduating this month from Boston University. 

She was recently named winner of the 2018 Al Young Sports Journalist Scholarship. Nguyen is the first female recipient of both the scholarship and internship.

“I’m really proud of all that Tami has accomplished,” said Howard Chen, STF’s chairman. “There were many worthy applicants, and through a very thorough judging and vetting process. Tami was ultimately chosen as the best fit for this ESPN internship. We are extremely thankful to Disney and ESPN for helping to make this opportunity possible through AAJA’s Sports Task Force.”

Nguyen’s passion for journalism has grown through her current internship with the control room at TD Garden, home of the Boston Celtics and Bruins. She’s spent the past season covering various athletes, including Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Zdeno Chara and others.

She hopes to continue her sports journalism career after college in Boston and work in live sports coverage.

Nguyen joined AAJA in high school. However, she didn’t attend her first event until a few months ago when she decide to stop by an event hosted by AAJA New England, where she met Al Young and other Boston-based journalists.

She instantly found a home. 

“AAJA is very family oriented,” Nguyen said. “I’m beyond thankful both of these opportunities were given to me this year. I wasn’t involved much before, but AAJA and the Sports Task Force has helped open so many doors.”

When Nguyen found out she won the internship, she was quick to make a first request.

“I wanted to make sure I could attend AAJA in Houston,” she said.

Nguyen plans on attending her first AAJA national convention this summer in Houston, and increasing her involvement with the AAJA Sports Task Force.

“Winning this scholarship and internship has re-assured me I chose the right path,” Nguyen said. “The Sports Task Force has done so much and the success I enjoy is a direct benefit of the support I receive.”

Tami Nguyen Wins STF’s Al Young Sports Journalism Scholarship

By Mark Kim

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) is proud to announce Tami Nguyen as the third recipient of the Al Young Sports Journalist Scholarship. She is the first woman to receive this scholarship.

Tami Nguyen and Al Young

“I know the judges all worked very diligently during this process and am very happy that AAJA’s Sports Task Force can assist Tami in pursuing her career goals and also honoring the pioneer in the industry that Al Young is,” said Howard Chen, the chair of AAJA’s Sports Task Force.

Nguyen, a senior at Boston University, started college as a computer science major. But through a control room internship with TD Garden, the home of the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins, she found her passion for journalism.

Along with her duties with TD Garden, Nguyen also works for BUTV10, the campus TV station of Boston University, and freelances as a photographer.

“Her talents behind the camera and work ethic, along with her academic success during four years as a Film and Television major at BU, have proven to be top notch,” said Young. “I’m delighted that this award will help move her one step closer to achieving her goal of a sports journalism career.”

Nguyen’s goal is to stay in Boston and work in live sports coverage. While she joined AAJA in her high school years, she plans on increasing her involvement with the AAJA Sports Task Force.

“[Getting this scholarship] was really reassuring because I kind of fell into sports and it’s the best thing ever,” said Nguyen.

The Al Young Scholarship is dedicated to Al Young, one of the first Asian American sports writers to work for a metro daily. Young worked for publications such as USA Today and the Boston Globe before retiring in 2012.

Japanese-American Krissy Kobata Battles Odds and Time to Find Bone Marrow Donor

Prominent agent Don Yee, one of the Sports Task Force’s greatest supporters, has a young friend fighting for her life.

Krissy Kobata of Los Angeles was diagnosed in 2008 with myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, a disease that destroys the body’s ability to make new blood cells and often develops into acute leukemia. The possible cure is a bone marrow transplant but Krissy has a unique challenge: Her mixed-race heritage makes finding a donor harder.

As the daughter of a Japanese American father and Caucasian mother, as of a January 2012 story published by Glamour, none of the 9.5 million volunteers in the national bone marrow registry were a match.

“Caucasians have almost a 93 percent chance of finding the right match,” the Glamour story said, “but for someone like Krissy, the odds are shockingly low.”

Krissy’s brother Randy also wasn’t a match.

On June 30th, Krissy and her family received a troubling update after a bone marrow biopsy. Her levels are low, and she’s running out of time.

“She is now in the process of actively preparing for a bone marrow transplant, hopefully by sometime in the fall,” a post at said.

So what can you do?

Spread the word and register for the match registry, especially if you are of mixed race. In the Glamour story, Dr. Willis Navarro of the National Marrow Donor Program said only 3 percent of the 9.5 million volunteers are of mixed race.

“We don’t break down mixed race further, but I can tell you that within that group, the number of Japanese Caucasian, or even Asian Caucasian, donors is tiny,” Dr Navarro said. “As this country becomes more diverse and marriages continue to cross racial and ethnic lines, finding a match for people of mixed race will be increasingly daunting. It’s a huge challenge, because while our program has aggressively recruited minority donors through community groups, there really aren’t enough ‘mixed-race’ organizations to help us target those individuals.”

Over the last few years, Krissy has been a champion of raising awareness, particularly among mixed-raced donors.

“My biggest wish right now is for anyone reading this — especially those of you who are mixed race — to realize that you could be that match, for me or for someone else,” Krissy told Glamour. “It’s so, so easy: You just take a Q-tip and swab your cheek, and you could literally save a life. I refuse to give up hope — now or ever. But you are the hope that someone like me clings to.”

She said those words 5 1/2 years ago, yet Krissy remains unwavering in her optimism.

“Krissy is staying positive and in good spirits,” the post at said.

Click on the image or click here to learn how to register at Be The Match.

If interested in doing a story on Krissy, please contact Sean Jensen of the Sports Task Force at