August 8, 2008

I won't be able to make it to Denvention this year. At first I wasn't sure if I could swing it, but when I decided I really wanted to do it, life got in the way.

I recently mentioned that science fiction, comic and animation fans have been doing a lot to help raise awareness about bone marrow and stem cell donation. For those of you who will be attending the 66th World Science Fiction convention in Denver this week, I would like to direct your attention to these items:

Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Blood Drive (Friday, August 8). You can find out more on the web page and even make an appointment in advance. For those of you reading this who do not know this late science fiction Grand Master, he popularized the term, "Pay It Forward." He believed instead of paying debts back, you could go out and do something equally good for someone else. Incidentally, Emru introduced me to RAH's work when we were kids. Like Heinlein, Emru needed blood when he fell ill - I think it's around 40 times since December.

Heal Emru stickers, flyers and buttons will be available to promote bone marrow and stem cell donation and registration: I would hand these out myself if I were present. Please pick a sticker up at the Anticipation table or a promotional table and consider placing it on your badge and telling your friends where you got it. If you need more information, consult the back of the flyer that should be lurking close by. Emru recently found a match - with lots of help, including fandom's - but over 16000 people are hoping to get the same chance and not all will.

Another great cause that has been garnering a lot of support: Match It For Pratchett folks may have a donation jar at the WesterCon 62/NA Discworld table in the fan table area during the convention. Remember, you can donate every day by just going to the website or contacting your country's leading charity dedicated to Alzheimer's research.

Many fans have big hearts, but this year I have seen it in action more than ever from a very personal level. So to anyone who reads this who is considering one or more of these suggestions, runs charity or awareness-raising events at your local convention, or just does something to help another person out at other times of the year: thank you.

Have a fantastic five days.

Do you have any good causes you know about at the convention? Let me know and I will update this message!

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