February 12, 2009
Please consider reposting. Thank you. Do not underestimate the power of making yourself heard.
This is the second US bone marrow drive in which I will assist, and I look forward to meeting you and answering questions. This type of drive is not done in Quebec, despite how effective it can be. A person can match another person anywhere in the world, so off I go.
MAJOR UPDATE 2nd Day Added!
Sunday 10:00am ~ 2:00pm
SAVE THE DATE!
Saturday, February 14th, 2009
10:00am ~ 6:00pm
Westin Waterfront Hotel, Boston
Boskone 46: 2009 Science Fiction Convention
When someone needs a bone marrow transplant and none of their family members are a match, the registry searches for a donor whose tissue type profile is compatible. 70% of people requiring a transplant need an unrelated donor.
We are not wise, we humankind,
who live a little time and die.
What can we do against the night
but weep, and rage, and question why?
For what are we but bone and blood,
and speaking voice and loving heart?
We share what help and hope we may
Together now, before we part.
But if we do not speak, or love,
or offer blood, or bone, to save
another breathing human life
who'll live to love because we gave...
what are we then but cold, alone,
the chilling blood, the empty bone?
- Jo Walton, Boskone 46 Author Guest of Honour
Representatives of the National Marrow Donor Program and volunteers from the fannish community will be running an information table and registry drive. Registration itself is simple and painless: all you have to do is swab your cheek and fill out a form. To register you must be between the ages of 18 and 60 and in general good health.
Legislators in several US states have passed laws that make it mandatory for most insurance companies operating in these states to pay the cost of registration. Please bring your health insurance card with you. If you live in RI, NH, or MA you can register at this event at no cost.
More than 35,000 patients per year, many of them children, are diagnosed with diseases treatable by marrow or stem cell transplant. These diseases include leukemia, lymphoma and other cancers and genetic diseases.
A person looking for a stem cell match may find one potential donor in a pool of 20,000, or 1,000,000, or more. The most likely match for someone is a person of the same or a similar ethnic background. No one is guaranteed a match, regardless of background, but ethnic minorities are especially underrepresented and patients have even less chance of finding a matching donor, since ethnicity plays a critical role in increased chnces of matching. Then they have to hope that person is on the registry. You might be the match necessary to save a life.
Many people do not consider donating because they may not know they can help, but also because they have misconceptions about the donation process. The drive is a great venue for getting your questions answered.
The inspiration for this drive is the thousands of people who are waiting on any given day for a donor.
One of them was Emru Townsend, a fan and critic. Instead of writing about animation, comics, and technology, last year he spent his time writing about how people could save his life, or that of someone just like him at healemru.com. This drive is in his memory.
Even if you are not eligible to give blood, you may be eligible to be a bone marrow donor, so please do not select yourself out of the process if you are interested.