“I don’t know Amit Gupta” is a frequent preface in most posts about Amit Gupta and his fight against Acute Leukemia. What inevitably follows is a brief description of who he is, what he’s done, and most importantly, why the reader should care: this amazing human being needs your help–no, *our* help–to fight for his life.
I learned about Amit through that birdie Twitter, and wasn’t really sure what to do at first. He seems to be popular enough that Seth Godin and other luminaries are helping him fight the odds. If my list of People Big on the Internet is buzzing with #IswabbedforAmit, then what good am I to the cause? How much more help can I bring? I was chillin’ with that villain the Bystander Effect.
A part of me wants to jump on the bandwagon and retweet. Yeah! Retweet all the tweets! A part of me asked myself how effective that would be, and more deeply, it confronted my motives. Would I publicly voice my support because all the cool kids are doing it. Would I do this if it weren’t for all the Internet celebrities? It is, after all, an easy button to click or touch, and I’ll unlock that Groupie badge. Over-analyzing and Analysis Paralysis, yessir, I has it.
Something deep inside, thankfully, keeps it real for me. Whenever I see someone who might be South Asian (if they’re from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, or Sri Lanka), I keep wanting to walk up and ask if they’ve registered in the Bone Marrow Registry.
What this tells me is what The King would say: “A little less conversation, a little more action please”. A human out there needs help. I can do something about it. I don’t need a complicated decision tree to anal-yze that.
So, Seattle, grab your fleece and let’s start walking. I’d like to hold an event, a West Coast party similar to like the one happening in NYC October 14.
What does that mean? Glad you ask. I need help with:
- If you have experience organizing a drive like this, I would love your help.
- Getting registration kits and paperwork. (I have no idea how this works.)
- Contact an agency, like SAMAR or AADP to help.
- Recruiting as many eligible people to come
- Securing a venue. It does not have to be a bar/restaurant.
- Getting good entertainment. Do you know a good band? Are you in a band? Come play for us!
- Getting food + drink
- Getting the word out
- If something like this is already happening. Let me know how I can help and we will have one big ol’ party.
What if I hate parties?
Screw parties! The most important thing you can do is get anyone you know, or suspect might be, of South Asian descent to get tested.
Also, it does not have to be a party in that boozing and groozing way. I can teach a yoga class and lead a meditation session. You come destress and maybe get your cheek swabbed. We all win. (Yes I made up “grooozing”, a cross of cruising and grooving.)
This is for Amit Gupta, and it’s also to spread awareness for the bone marrow registry. I knew nothing about leukemia, but after digging around the Internet, I’ve learned a few things that have propelled me to take action, such as the low chances of finding a genetic match for bone marrow if you’re a minority.
Most often, bone marrow transplant patients need a donor who is of the same ethnic or racial background. BUT, people of color are drastically underrepresented in the bone marrow registry.
Tragically, most adults and children from diverse backgrounds cannot get the life-saving bone marrow transplant they need because there is no match for them in the registry. More donors from diverse backgrounds are desperately needed. – swabacheek.org
So, to summarize:
- If you are South Asian, please get a free kit in the mail, stick a Q-tip in your cheek, and return it.
- Hell, you don’t even have to be South Asian to do it, here is the linky poo to the Bone Marrow Registry again.
- Oh, hey, are you rolling around in Kyle’s money? There is a cost of lab tests and database maintenance that you can help cover.
- If you’re in Seattle and willing and able to help me put on a little (or big) party of any kind, please write me at dragonc@gmail, or @dragonc on Twitter. Again, if you’ve done this before and can help, I would appreciate it so much.
- Who the heck is this for again? Amit Gupta. From what I gather he is a pretty swell guy.