San Jose man’s Vietnamese brothers granted visas for life-saving transplant

June 18, 2019
In The News

Two Vietnamese brothers have been granted temporary visas to supply a life-saving bone marrow transfer for their dying sibling, a United States citizen living in San Jose, after a Chronicle investigation.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, announced Tuesday morning that Lam Le and Hiep Nguyen will be able to travel to the U.S. to see their brother Tu Le and provide bone marrow to treat a rare form of blood cancer.

The Chronicle first reported that the brothers were denied entry into the country after they learned they were a bone marrow match and applied for visitor visas for the medical procedure.

Tu Le, 63, was diagnosed in January 2018 with a form of blood cancer known as myelodysplastic syndrome. The father of four needs a bone marrow transplant to survive, said his daughter, Trinh Colisao.

Multiple members of Congress from California, including Lofgren, Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Fremont, and Sen. Kamala Harris, called on federal officials to help the brothers enter the country.

Lofgren said she spoke with the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, Dan Kritenbrink, on June 10, and he offered to arrange another interview for the brothers at the U.S. Consulate in Vietnam on Tuesday.

Officials will consider new information in their visa applications, Lofgren’s office said in a statement.

“I couldn’t be happier for Tu Le and his family,” she said.

Officials did not say when the brothers will arrive in the U.S., and Tu Le’s family did not immediately respond to a request for comment.