June 21, 2008

Emru and I get a lot of questions via email, phone, Facebook, and in person. I will be present on Saturday June 28 and Sunday June 29 to give a brief talk and take part in a question and answer period. This is a great chance to get a lot of information in a very short time and get your concerns addressed.

Saturday June 28
12:00pm -2:00 pm
3:00 pm-5:00 pm

Sunday June 29
3:00 pm-5:00 pm

Concordia University
De Seve Cinema
1400 de Maisonneuve West
Montreal, Quebec
(near Guy-Concordia metro)

Topics to be addressed:

- What are bone marrow, stem cells, and why would someone need a donation
- Myths surrounding bone marrow donation, and the actual donation process
- Why most people requiring a bone marrow transplant will require an unrelated donor
- How to register in Quebec and other regions
- How matching works, why so many people are needed and why ethnic background is a factor
- Shortages in certain donor pools and other issues

You can also add the event on Facebook and send it to your friends.

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June 18, 2008

On June 19, from 2 to 8 p.m. there will be a bone marrow drive in Montreal at the YWHA on Westbury. It is sponsored by Gift of Life to aid two men in the local Jewish community.

Donations are welcome, as the family must pay out of pocket since this is being done by a US registry. You have the privilege of getting swabbed for free, but please try to pay what you can, even if it is only a few dollars, because in the end, someone is paying for it.

Please note that this drive is not sponsored by Hema Quebec, who does not run bone marrow drives. Your name will go onto the National Marrow Donor Program database in the US, but if you are ever found to be a match, they will contact the appropriate registry.

No matter what registry you are on, please remember to keep your address information up to date.

To register any time in Quebec, go to Hema Quebec's website and download their consent form, or call (514) 832-5000 ext 279 and ask for a consent form to be sent directly to you. Read it, fill it in and send it back. You will be contacted to make an appointment at your convenience, where you will provide two vials of blood for typing.

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May 1, 2008

My brother is looking for a hero.

You need no special powers, except compassion and the willingness to make a difference.

Register as a bone marrow donor. Save a life.

Registration is free in most countries and online registration is free in the US from May 5-19, 2008. http://www.marrow.org

The comics community has been very supportive of Emru's initiatives. After a month in the hospital, Emru stopped at Cosmix before going home to pick up his comics. They put up our flyer. Many comics stores in Montreal have done this, and are one of the most willing merchants, I've noticed, when I ask people to help. The Montreal Comicon gave us a table last Sunday in the Artists' Alley so we could educate people about the bone marrow registry. Dealers at the show offered to give flyers to their reserve customers. Some had family and friends who had received bone marrow transplants, and know what a life-saving procedure it is.

Thanks to the Montreal team that held the Iron Man premiere and let Emru enjoy his first movie since he was diagnosed and also make an empassioned plea to the audience.

As comic book fans, he and I truly found it special that we could enjoy this film together.

Because of the comics we read as kids, he and I believe in heroes. We still do.

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