Martin Lintag was born and raised in the Greater Vancouver area, with his family settling in Richmond during his growing up years. He now resides in New Westminster.
His parents are originally from the Philippines, with his mom Linda moving to Canada in the late 70s, and then his father Oscar coming over in 1988. Before he was diagnosed with two rare forms of blood cancer, Martin, or “Marty” as he is fondly called by close friends and family, worked as a successful accountant for an industrial auctioneer company.
Marty was a healthy, energetic and charismatic person. He enjoyed playing a lot of sports such as ultimate frisbee, bowling, volleyball, dodgeball and worked out every day. Marty lived his life to the fullest, and often gave back to the community by volunteering his time to coach people in sports.
Martin lived a very active and healthy lifestyle, and so when he was diagnosed with two rare forms of leukemia when he turned 30 years old last July 2018, he didn’t know what hit him.
He got sick with strep throat that never went away, and after a blood test his family doctor urged him to go to the emergency ward because his white cell count was so high. It was discovered that Marty developed mixed phenotype acute leukemia (MPAL). This disease is made of two different types of leukemia, acute lymphblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
These two rare forms of leukemia can be treated if Martin goes into remission and receives a stem cell transplant.
He’s currently under palliative care through Vancouver General Hospital, and continues to live his day-to-day life, works out and even drives himself to his own chemotherapy treatments. Martin has also reached out to hospitals outside Canada in hopes to find alternative treatments.
Despite the huge adversity Martin is facing, he hasn’t lost hope. He’s a brave young man who continues to have a positive attitude even when he is very close to death’s door. In Martin’s own words, “stay positive and don’t sweat the little things”.
He refuses to give up hope and appreciates the love and support he’s received from so many people he knows and those he doesn’t.
What can save Martin’s life is a stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor–preferably from the Filipino ethnic group. Anyone who is between the ages of 17 – 35 years old would be a viable donor (a health regulation in Canada).
As Martin states, “[t]he best way to be fully cured of my MPAL is to receive a stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor. However, very few Asians, let alone Filipinos, are aware of stem cell transplants and are registered donors. This makes it difficult for me and others to find a match. As of 2015, Southeast Asians, including people of Filipino descent, form less than 2% of Canada’s database, and Canada is unable to access donors registered in the Philippines.”
To become a donor, please go to https://www.match4martin.com orhttps://www.facebook.com/Match4MartinNow/