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‘Team Paul’ Goes on Offense in Bone Marrow Drive

In an effort to find a bone marrow donor for Paul Goodman — a much beloved 29-year-old Orange County Buddhist Church member — several BCA temples, churches and community centers have launched registration drives that have spanned the entire West Coast, Texas, and Hawaii.

On Jan. 31, OCBC held a drive-through bone marrow registration for Goodman. Other recent drive-through events in Southern California were held at the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center in West Covina, Los Angeles Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo, and Tanaka Farms in Irvine.

In addition, the following have or are hosting drives: Palo Alto Buddhist Temple, Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin in Honolulu, Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple, San Fernando Valley Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, Fresno Betsuin Buddhist Temple, Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute, and individuals in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Plano, Texas.

“It's wonderful how the temples and community centers are willing to host the drives and how people of all backgrounds and ages are coming out to support his cause,” said Carole Sugimoto, who along with husband Steve and sons Derek and Tyler, helped to coordinate a donor campaign for Goodman with A3M, a Los Angeles-based organization that recruits potential marrow donors.

Carole Sugimoto added that “these drives would not have happened without the help of Paul and the Goodman's friends and family. It was truly a team effort. Team Paul came through and they continue to support the campaign.”

“This was an overall coordinated effort with what we refer to Paul’s army/village,” Steve Sugimoto said. The campaign — which began about a month ago — quickly picked up momentum, and seven mutual friends grew to over 100 people in reaching out to others and organizing events.

“Promoting the events has been easy — it seems everyone wants to help Paul find a match,” Sugimoto said. “One of the most touching realizations was how much of an impact Paul has had on his ‘little’ campers from LABCC. He has been a repeat LABCC counselor for 10 years. Some of those campers are now old enough to register with Be The Match (the largest marrow registry in the world run by the National Marrow Donor Program), some volunteered to work with the drives and some fellow counselors are coordinating bone marrow registry drives of their own.”

“I’m really looking for, you know, someone to kind of be involved in saving my life,” Goodman told CBSLosAngeles in January. “There’s a bone marrow match out there in the world for me, and if we could get it in the next couple months that would just be so amazing for my prognosis and my outlook.”

Goodman, a filmmaker who runs his own production company, is battling a recurrence of leukemia. He grew up at OCBC, playing basketball and is a volunteer tech advisor for OCBC programs. He’s also a counselor for the Los Angeles Buddhist Coordinating Council church camp.

The ideal match for Goodman would be a donor who is 50% Japanese and 50% Caucasian, and between the ages of 18-44 years old.

“It has truly been an amazing campaign and is a testament to how many people Paul and the Goodman family have touched,” Steve Sugimoto said. “We continue to receive texts, emails, phone calls from people that want to help and contribute, and that is why this campaign has grown so quickly.”

Sugimoto said it “has definitely been a cross-generational campaign and it warms our heart to see those that we remember as little kids now contribute tremendously as adults to this campaign.”

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