Thanks, Northeastern!

Quick update:

My former roommate and her organization at Northeastern University, NuMix, registered 254 donors! Huge success!

P.S. – I realize I’ve been slacking on the blog. Promise to pick it up again soon.

Bone marrow drive at Northeastern University today

Check out news@Northeastern for more details!

*My roommate’s famous ūüėÄ

Northeastern University bone marrow drive

Attention Boston students and residents!

One of my former roommates and an amazing friend is hosting a bone marrow drive at Northeastern University this November. If you’re interested in attending, check out this flyer¬†or read the following message from her:

Nu Mix, Northeastern University‚Äôs multicultural student organization, along with Colleges Against Cancer, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Kappa Sigma, LASO and the NU Rugby Team will host¬†Get Swabbed! Save a Life! –¬†a¬†Bone¬†Marrow¬†Donor¬†Drive¬†on¬†November 8, 2011 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.¬†in¬†Curry Student Center¬†Ballroom. We will be working with DKMS Americas, an international¬†bone¬†marrow¬†donor¬†center, to hold this drive. We want to get as many people possible involved! The most important way to get involved: come get swabbed or come learn more about registering as a donor.

Our Get Swabbed campaign will help broaden awareness about bone marrow donation and recruit new bone marrow donors. We hope this will lead to more lives being saved! The process is quick and painless! If the donor meets the requirements, there is just a simple cheek swab. DKMS, again, will facilitate this process and will add the list of donors to the national Be The Match Registry, so all patients can benefit.

Nu Mix is especially excited to work with this project because it coincides with our mission as a student group. There is an especially great need for registered donors of multiethnic descent. Race holds a critical role in find a¬†marrow¬†match. Genetic makeup must be similar between the¬†donor¬†and the recipient in order for a match to occur. Finding a¬†marrow¬†match has been compared at times as having the odds of ‚Äúfind a needle in a haystack.‚ÄĚ As you can see, the need is there!

Here are a few fast facts:

– Leukemia kills more children each year than any other disease.

– Young people age 18- 24 are the bone marrow donors needed most.

– Only 30% of patients needing a marrow transplant can find a match within their family. The rest rely on complete strangers.

– Minority donors are most needed.

We hope you will be able to support this cause and come out to the Get Swabbed! Save A Life Bone Marrow Donor Drive! 

***My wonderful roommate also wrote a piece for a Massachusetts state health blog about my experience as a donor and the need for more registered minority donors. Check it out.

Bone marrow drive coming to UConn

The University of Connecticut Huskies are champions for recruiting some of the best college athletes across the country, but you know I’m not here to talk sports.

…wait for it…

…wait for it…

We’re also champions at recruiting bone marrow donors! WHAAAAT!

Super serious boyfriend explaining how to register at a UConn drive in April 2010

No way Jos√©, you’re thinking. Yes way. UConn made DKMS America’s Top Five chart¬†of colleges and universities for finding¬†¬†potential bone marrow matches in 2010. Let’s keep that alive!

UConn students: you can attend a bone marrow drive on Sunday, November 13 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. Get swabbed to register as a donor or stop by to learn more about registering.

Check out the flyer here!

Hope to see you there.

Bone marrow donation goes viral

About a week after pancreatic cancer killed Steve Jobs, technology’s most influential person, techies, bloggers and gamers are rallying to save another member of their community.

Amit Gupta, a San Francisco resident and founder of e-commerce photo site Photojojo and workplace social media site Jelly, discovered acute leukemia ravaging his body in mid-September. Doctors told him he needed immediate treatment.

“I was terrified,” he blogged on October 6. “I packed a backpack full of clothes, went to the hospital as he‚Äôd instructed, and had transfusions through the night to allow me to take a flight home at 7am the next day. I Googled acute leukemia as I lay in my hospital bed, learning that if it hadn‚Äôt been caught, I‚Äôd have died within weeks.”

Gupta needs a bone marrow transplant. He’s also South Asian and a lack of registered minority donors will make his search for a match difficult. A likely match for Gupta will have roots in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, the Maldives or Sri Lanka. He encourages people to register as a donor here, with the National Marrow Donor Program. Interested potential donors can also register with DKMS Americas.

The technology community has proven it refuses to back down from a challenge.¬†Gupta’s story quickly went viral. His¬†blog, Twitter, countless Tumblr posts and Facebook mentions are helping spread the word about finding his match. In fact, one of the current trending topics on Twitter is #ISwabbedForAmit.

Marketing blogger Seth Godin, a friend of Gupta, offered to write a check for $10,000 to whoever matches his friend and agrees to donate. Another entrepreneur upped the amount to $30,000. If someone who matches Gupta chooses to donate, they can send the money to a charity of his/her choice.

Gupta’s friends will host an event in New York City this Friday at 9:30 p.m. called “WANTED: Brown Bones Benefit Party.” If you’re interested in attending, click here for more info.

“Please help get the word out any way you can,” Gupta blogged. “My life quite literally depends on it.”

Queens sisters crushing cancer

I just came across the most adorable sisters from Queens, New York, in the New York Post.

Lisette Watters donated bone marrow at age 4 in 2002 to her younger sister Caroline, then 2 years old, who suffered from acute myelogenous leukemia.  The girls, now 13 and 11, are telling their story at events hosted by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) to raise awareness about blood cancer. Caroline has been cancer-free for nine years.

Lisette, left and Caroline, right

“I feel other people should have the chance to be lucky like me,” Caroline told the Post.

The sisters were nominated for a Liberty Medal in the Young Heart Category by the New York chapter of the LLS. Lisette said she’s planning a line of tee-shirts and the proceeds will go to cancer research.

Caroline, who told the Post she aspires to become veterinarian AND a cheesemaker (awesome), said half the money she makes off of cheese will go to the LLS. Here’s hoping she owns a lucrative cheese business one day!

Night of Inspiration

New Yorkers, there’s a special bone marrow event coming to Brooklyn.

Danielle Lewis, a devotional artist, will release a worship EP and complimentary devotional book called “Today I Will” on October 22 at an event called “A Night of Inspiration.” A portion of the event’s proceeds will benefit leukemia research in honor of Lewis’s cousin, Shannon Tavarez, who passed away from leukemia last fall. At only 11-years-old, Tavarez starred as Nala in the Broadway production of The Lion King.

Shannon Tavarez

Tavarez’s story inspired DKMS Americas, a number of celebrities and thousands of people to push for bone marrow donor registration. Tavarez’s mixed-race background prevented her from finding a perfect match due to a lack of minority donors within international bone marrow registries.

The event opens at 6 p.m. with a bone marrow drive at Long Island University’s Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts in Brooklyn. The bone marrow drive is sponsored by Shannon’s S.H.A.R.E. Foundation, ¬†an organization dedicated to the recruitment and registration of bone marrow donors in communities where the need for awareness is great.

Tickets start at $15.