August 24, 2008


The Notting Hill carnival in the UK is one of the largest Caribbean carnivals in the world and Europe's largest street festival. The African Caribbean Leukemia Trust is the official charity for the second year in a row. Through their tireless efforts, they have assisted in over a dozen stem cell donor matches, and have increased the number of potential donors who fit this profile in the UK from 550 to 25000 people in a little over a decade.

On Sunday 24th and Monday 25th August more than 1.5 million revellers are expected to watch the thousands of artists perform. Additionally they will all have the opportunity to take 30 minutes to register as potential life savers at the ACLT registration drive, by completing an application form to join the British Bone Marrow Registry which is administered by the National Blood Service (NBS).

Check out ITV Local’s Notting Hill Carnival Channel 2008 (Official Online Media Partners to the Notting Hill Carnival) http://info.itvlocal.com/acltmain.shtml

Seven-year-old Dean Sheikh and his family will be present at the clinics encourage people to sign up. His family are Pakistani and they are hoping more South Asian donors will come forward.

The ACLT helped to spread the word of Emru's need for a donor, and I can personally attest to the determination and commitment of this charity.

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May 18, 2008

Eunique Darby is a teenager who was one of the faces of the National Marrow Donor Program's Thanks Mom event, ending Monday, May 19. The event promotes bone marrow and registration is even more convenient, including free online registration, until May 19th.

Online promo code: THXMGARDEN413500

A likely match for a recipient is someone who shares the same or similar ethnic background. If you are of European descent in the US, your chance of finding a match is 80%. If you are of African descent it is 60%. In Canada, if you are of European descent your chance is 75%, if you are anybody else is it 10-30%.
This is a story about Eunique Darby, a 14 year old girl from Syracuse, New York, who appears to be a typical teen. She enjoys spending time with her friends, going to the mall, singing in the church choir, learning how to cook and watching basketball. Unfortunately, Eunique doesn’t get to do these activities as often as she’d like.

Five years ago Eunique was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a cancer that affects the white blood cells. She experienced chronic fatique and stomach pains, prompting her parents, Enid and Johnny, to bring her to the doctor for a checkup. After noticing Eunique’s enlarged spleen and an abnormal white blood cell count, Eunique was diagnosed with leukemia.

Eunique needs a life-saving transplant to survive. Eunique has been in remission twice, but was not able to find a donor. After her third round of chemotherapy, Eunique learned last week that she is again in remission…and now, eligible for a marrow transplant.
A day before the event began, a match was found for Eunique, and I hope that person will honour their commitment. There was a pre-planned bone marrow drive held today in her honour. Hopefully, her story will help others find their match.

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May 11, 2008


The National Marrow Donor Program's Thanks Mom event also features a page called The Donor Garden. You can add your photo to a collage of people who have registered, know a loved one who is waiting for or received a transplant, or if you have been a donor or recipient. My ID is 100249.

Add your name to the garden.

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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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March 29, 2008

From Erica Murray's blog:
Wednesday, April 2, 11:00 - 4:00
MEDFORD, MA
Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts Campus
160 Packard Avenue, Cabot Basement (Under the Hall of Flags)

Friday, April 4, 10:00 - 3:00
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Hall of Justice, 850 Bryant St, Room 512 (adjacent to the Police Commission Hearing Room)
Erica has also made a YouTube video about her search. Have a look:

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March 16, 2008

Vivian Cisneros' daughter, Laura, has a request open for an unrelated bone marrow donor. Her family is hoping people will register to increase Laura's chance of finding the right match. Laura is in a minority donor group as a person of mixed heritage - Caucasian, Hispanic and Asian (the last being a surprise). People who match this ethnic makeup will have a higher chance of matching with her.

Vivian writes:

My daughter has leukemia and is desperately looking for a bone marrow donor. She was diagnosed a year ago, went through intensive chemo (almost a month in the hospital), went through follow-up chemo, one of which she almost didn't survive, and went into remission. Now six months later the leukemia has come back. She will have to go through the intensive chemo again, and then get a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, she is very unique and we cannot find a match for her. They have even searched the international lists, and from 10 million people she matched 2 (and those numbers are NOT typos). The 2 people were a not so good 9 out of 10 match. Her doctor is fairly sure they won't match after they do more match testing, because the 1 that is not right, needs to be.

So, the reason I am writing to everyone is that I am asking you to please consider signing up to be a bone marrow donor. Laura's sorority sister has set up a website for Laura with more information about her and about bone marrow donations. Please take a minute to look it over, and spread the word. Donors from mixed ethnic backgrounds are especially needed.

http://bonemarrowforlaura.org/

It's heartbreaking for me to see my daughter so sick, to know that the worst part of it all is the fact that she's afraid her 2-year-old son will not remember her after she gets out of the hospital, or will resent the fact that she went away. It took months the last time around for her to be his 'boo-boo healer' again. He's a year older now, he'll be so much more aware of her absence.

Please spread the word, and if you can, sign up to be a donor or organize a bone marrow drive. These can easily be incorporated into existing blood drives, as the Red Cross in the US runs both. Thank you for listening, for caring, for acting.

Vivian

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March 15, 2008

Chantelle Chornoby is an aboriginal teen who is looking for help to increase her chances of finding a donor. The person most likely to match her is another First Nations person.

Cancer-fighting teen launches appeal for bone marrow donors

"There's not too many First Nations people on the donors registry, they told me, and if we get more First Nations people on there, then maybe it could help our people," she said.

"My experience can help somebody else, and that's what this campaign is all about — like, to maybe help the next person who gets leukemia, because there is such a little chance that they could find a match. Like, a full sibling, there's only a one-out-of-four chance that they would be a match."

The Burntwood Regional Health Authority, which covers northern Manitoba, is supporting Chornoby's campaign.

The link to the rest of this article is available in the Press section.

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