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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July 31, 2008

Since Emru began to tell people about his situation and that of others, there has been an enormous amount of support in the anime and science fiction convention community. Many conventions have a history of fundraising for good causes, whether it is a guest of honour's fee being given to a good cause, a blood drive, a charity auction or an ancillary party. I and my friends were too busy raising awareness at Eastercon, Anime North and more recently Otakuthon to really post about it. As Anticipation has campaigned for people to register as members of the 2009 World Science Fiction Convention in Montreal, the chair and secretary have also encouraged people to register as stem cell donors.

However, I am going to try harder to let people know when and where we or our materials will be, because every person and organization who has helped should be commended. They've been vital to getting the word out about this important message that can benefit many people right now and in the future.

You can find our flyers this weekend at Diversicon, August 1-3. The science fiction convention is committed to fan, media and cultural diversity, and located in Minneapolis, MN. One of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States, Minneapolis is also the home of the National Marrow Donor Program.

You can get our flyers here. If you will have flyers in your registration pack or promotional table of a convention, festival or conference, let us know in advance and we will try to inform others so they can keep an eye out for them.

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