The adoptive mother of a 16-year-old girl diagnosed with leukemia returned to San Francisco International Airport Saturday from China after searching for a donor who could save her daughter's life.
Cramer flew out of the Bay Area on July 1 to encourage more people to sign up as bone marrow and adult stem cell donors.
She returned at about 1 p.m. and was headed back to Sacramento to see her daughter when she spoke via telephone about her trip.
"I think it went really well. It was beneficial that I went," she said.
Cramer started in Beijing, where she initially struggled to get assistance from local officials for her cause.
"They were a little hesitant at first to let me proceed, but I had a good advocate, and she really helped open the door," she said.
The advocate, Roberta Lipson, is the CEO of a health care technology company in Beijing, and she helped Cramer get in touch with Red Cross officials in Beijing and Guangxi, the region of southern China where Katie is from.
Donor drives were set up for people who were willing to be tested, and the Chinese government agreed to allow five people who were possible matches to have expedited testing done.
Local and national media in China also covered the Cramers' story and encouraged more people to sign up to the donor database.
Carol Gillespie, executive director of the Asian American Donor Program, an Alameda-based organization, has worked with the Cramers since Katie's leukemia relapsed.
Gillespie said the chance of finding a perfect donor match is more likely among people of similar ancestry, but perfect matches are rare - only 30 percent among siblings, and far less among non-family members - making it all the more important to increase the number of donors worldwide.