Krissy has always been a healthy, happy, and energetic, person. She grew up in the West Los Angeles/Brentwood area and went to local schools – St. Martin of Tours and Marymount High School, before attending and graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She currently works as a media supervisor for an advertising firm and loves her job, family, friends and having fun!
Some would say that Krissy has a spunky spirit. She may be small in stature, but has a big personality. She loves spending time with her family and friends; sharing lots of laughs, making memories, and traveling to explore new places and people. Unfortunately, her life has taken a bit of a different path than what a normal young woman her age would plan. She has been diagnosed with MDS, Myelodysplastic Syndrome. This disease is a primary bone marrow failure disease in which her marrow is not producing the healthy cells it needs to be. Often times, it is referred to as “pre-leukemia” and the only known cure is a bone marrow transplant.
What she’d like most is to get healthy and back to enjoying life with those that are most important to her. Before doing that, however, she needs to find a match. Being mixed race (Krissy is half Japanese and half Caucasian) makes finding a match more difficult than most. We know through all the efforts being made on everyone’s behalf, we will find a match, but just need a little extra help. Please consider registering to become a donor… you may just be her match!
Team Krissy was formed in 2008 to support Krissy in finding her bone marrow donor match. Since then we have hosted many drives, mostly in Southern California, and Hawaii, but our team has hosted a few drives in other parts of the US as well. We have succeeded in signing up thousands of new bone marrow donors. But are currently still looking for Krissy's perfect 10 out of 10 match.
We started with focused efforts on finding "Hapa"[mixed race Japanese and Caucasian descent] people to add to the registry. Since Krissy is Hapa it is more likely that her match will also be Hapa. In 2015, out of the entire number of adults registered with the National Marrow Registry, only 4% were of mixed race. Approximately 30% of the registry was made up of minorities. These numbers are too low and there is definitely a need for minorities and mixed race donors!
Even though we started out searching for Krissy's match we have met many people along the way that are in need of a match as well. We are so ecstatic that we were lucky enough to have registered several people who ended up being the match for some of these other patients. This has only fueled our drive and passion for this cause even more! With the growing number of bone marrow failure diseases, there is more need for bone marrow donors and we will continue to search for Krissy and hope to help many other people along the way.
Media attention and Interviews
Krissy has been featured in many different news articles, interviews, videos, and films so that she could share her story and spread awareness about the huge need for mixed race and minority bone marrow donors. You can check out some of her media coverage and interviews below:
- 2017: Article: Japanese-American Krissy Kobata Battles Odds and Time to Find Bone Marrow Donor By Sean Jensen, AAJA Sports Task Force
- 2016: Mixed Match a movie about mixed race cancer patients all searching for their perfect match. It explores the role that race plays in medicine. Krissy is a featured subject in the documentary. Check out our events page to see if it's screening near you!
- January 2012- Glamour Magazine, "You Could Save Her Life" by Habiba Nosheen & Lisa Desai
- 2009- Appeared in Mixed Marrow's PSA
- September 14, 2008- SCE radio interview with Laverne Watkins
- 2008- Denise Dador Coverage on ABC 7 News