Angel Wings   Brave Benjamin earned his angel wings and passed away to heaven peacefully in his mommy's arms on October 6, 2014. He touched so many lives during his 6.5 weeks with us... doctors, nurses, friends, family, and people who never met him, but were inspired by his story to join the bone marrow donor registry. We truly hope that at least one of you will be a match and save a life.

A private service was held at Graceland Memorial Park in Grand Rapids, MI. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the "Benjamin Liao Memorial Fund" at any Fifth Third Bank branch location or by donating online via PayPal by clicking on "Donate" below.

All proceeds will go towards helping families affected by Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH).

Upcoming Donor Drives  We would like to extend our deep gratitude to the Byron Center, the students of Wayne State University School of Medicine and the greater Grand Rapids and Detroit communities for their overwhelming show of support. Please join us in celebrating Baby Benjamin's life and to help find matches for others in need by stopping by our next donor drive on Friday, November 7th, 5pm-7pm, at Wayne State University Student Center at Gullen Mall in Detroit, MI.

Help Cure Baby Benjamin!

  • Benjamin - Day 5

Join the Bone Marrow Registry

On August 21st, 2014, Baby Benjamin entered the world with acute liver failure. After two challenging weeks of tests and procedures, doctors formally diagnosed Baby Benjamin with HLH, or Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis, a rare immune system disorder that damages healthy tissues and organs, including the liver, bone marrow, and the central nervous system.

HLH is 100% fatal if not treated.
In Baby Benjamin's case, his only cure was to find a match with a bone marrow donor.

Help others like Baby Benjamin and increase their chance of a match by joining the National Bone Marrow Registry today at, the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world!

All it takes is a few minutes and a cheek swab to save a life. By joining the registry, you could save a life; you could be the cure.

Join the Marrow Registry*

*From On the registration form, please enter promo code "babybenjamin" so can track sign ups from his community of supporters. Thank you.

Share this Campaign

Help us spread the word and encourage your friends to join the marrow registry!

Bone marrow matching is based on Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) tissue types. HLA are proteins, or markers, found on most cells in your body. Your immune system uses these markers to recognize which cells belong in your body and which do not. A close HLA match between donor and patient is the most important matching factor.

HLA types are inherited which explains why a patient is more likely to find a match with a donor who shares similar racial and ethnic ancestry.

Statistically, the likelihood of a match are much lower for minorities, particularly for patients of mixed racial and ethnic heritage, simply due to a severe shortage of supply in donor registrants.

In Baby Benjamin’s case, he was a mix of Asian (Taiwanese), German and Irish heritage.

Help continue to share his story and help others like him by joining the National Bone Marrow Registry today at, the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world!

All it takes is a few minutes to complete a brief online questionnaire, a cheek swab that is mailed-in and, if matched, a small time commitment to be a donor.

There are also many advocacy organizations, as well as colleges and universities, who sponsor multiple donor drive events throughout the year. For more information on patient/donor matching or to find an event near you, see Resources. By joining the registry and sharing Baby Benjamin's story, you or someone you know could save a life.

Dispelling the Myth

Check out Detroit's Local4 Good Health video feature on dispelling the myth about donating bone marrow, and hear about Baby Benjamin's story (1:33s) from the Wolverines for Life donor event on Sept. 19th in Ann Arbor, MI. (Video requires Flash)

The Byron Center Donor Registry Drive

We would like to extend our deep gratitude to the Byron Center and greater Grand Rapids communities for their overwhelming show of support at their Be The Match Bone Marrow Registry Drive on Oct. 7th. View the story covered by local Fox17 News, including an interview with Jolynne Dobson, Countryside Elementary School principal.

Learn more about bone marrow donation process, step-by-step at

Benjamin Allan Liao was born with acute liver failure on August 21st, 2014, at Mercy Health St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Within 20 hours of birth and after many tests and communication among Baby Benjamain's medical team, he was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, for further tests and specialized care.

At two weeks of age, Benjamin was officially diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis, or HLH, a rare immune system disorder where specialized inflammatory cells, T cells and NK cells, do not work properly and become over stimulated. Instead of destroying infected or damaged cells as they should, they begin to damage healthy tissues and organs including the liver, bone marrow, and the central nervous system.

Treatment involves medications to stop the inflammatory reaction and to suppress the immune system. Once the immune system has "cooled off" and the body recovers from the initial insult, a bone marrow (stem cell) transplant is required for cure.

HLH most commonly presents in infants before the age of one, but can present later in life. HLH is 100% fatal if not treated.

Baby Benjamin remains in the NICU and has started treatment to suppress his immune system which appears to be working. This little trooper continues to fight everyday and remains strong (especially when he has to be turned or when Daddy changes his diaper).

The next few weeks will be spent by allowing Benjamin to heal and by checking national and international bone marrow registries for a bone marrow match as a bone marrow transplant is his only cure.

For updates on Baby Benjamin's progress, please sign in to his CarePages webpage.

To learn more about HLH, see Resources.

  • Benjamin - Day 2
Team Baby Benjamin would like to thank all of those who have reached out and extended their thoughts and prayers to us. Many of you have asked how you can help. If you are already a donor, please keep your contact information up to date with the registry. If you are unable to be a donor, please also consider these options:
  1. Join us at our Next Donor Drive - Monday, Oct. 20th, 4pm-8pm at Big Bob's Pizza in East Grand Rapids, MI.
  2. Host or Participate in a Donor Drive Event
    • If you are interested in hosting a donor drive, please contact Team Baby Benjamin's Be The Match representative, Tarita Gibson at, who can help coordinate donor drives in the state of Michigan or help connect you with your local Be The Match representative.
    • To find a donor drive or match event near you, visit our Resources section or check out Baby Benjamin's Facebook Page where we will be listing related events, particularly in the Michigan area.
  3. Make a Financial Gift on behalf of Baby Benjamain to Be The Match. Each match kit costs $100 to process, but Be The Match absorbs the cost so that registration is free to the potential donor. Our goal is raise $1,000. Note: Please donate through the link provided ( so that Be The Match can track gifts made on behalf of Baby Benjamin.
  4. Donate whole blood through the American Red Cross. Since day one, Benjamin has received many blood products including packed red blood cells, plasma, and platelets.
  5. Share this campaign and encouraging your friends or family to Join the Marrow Registry.
  6. Raise awareness by sharing messages or posting badges on social media.

Find a Donor Drive Event Near Your

This event lists are up to date and cover many popular cities and towns across the U.S. Team Benjamin will also be listing local events on Facebook at

About Bone Marrow Matching and Donors contains a wealth of information on Bone Marrow Transplant basics, the donation/matching process, as well as several resources for patients, families and their support community.

Learn about HLH


Join the Registry*

*From On the registration form, please enter promo code "babybenjamin" so can track sign ups from his community of supporters. Thank you.