I’m going to get straight to the point on this post. Amit Gupta, founder of Jelly and Photojojo, is battling leukemia. He needs to undergo months of chemotherapy, and afterwards he needs a bone marrow transplant. Being a minority of South Asian decent, he has a 1 in 20,000 chance of finding a match despite the 9.5 million records on file.
That’s sorta scary.
So here’s the thing. We touch the lives of the people around us every day. I believe that everyone has a list of people whom they admire. People who are a source of inspiration. They motivate us to be creative, be healthy, be happy. They just do what they do, and in the process of doing it, they just seem to radiate awesome. I have never met Amit, in fact, I didn’t even know that he had a blog until I read about his story. I did know he was the founder of Photojojo, a site that I find fun and inspirational. I also knew that he has had a hand in helping many of the photographers as they have worked to break into the photo community. From what I’ve read, he is genuine guy with a great sense of humor who values his relationships. He’s an all around good guy.
But the cancer really doesn’t care about that.
I sort of feel like I should do my part in helping the guy out. Unfortunately, I’m not of the right decent and there is no way that I would be a match for Amit (though that isn’t going to stop me from doing the cheek swab. There is someone else out there who is fighting Leukemia who does need my help.), but I feel that by posting this I’m informinging a few more people about what is going on, and raising his chances of finding a match.
So here is what you can do to help Amit (or anyone else battling Leukemia) rock it like a palm tree rocks a hurricane:
- If you’re South Asian, get a free test by mail. You rub your cheeks with a cotton swab and mail it back. It’s easy.
- If you’re in NYC, you can go to this event that his friends are putting on.
- If you know any South Asians (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, or Sri Lanka), please point ‘em to the links above.
*UPDATE 1* Organize a donor drive near you (the most helpful thing you could possibly do!) email firstname.lastname@example.org. They’ll send you kits, flyers, tell you what to say, and make the whole process easy cheesy.
*UPDATE 2* Want to get a free test, but not in the US. Here’s a list of international donor registries that are globally searchable.
Amit Gupta: http://tumblr.amitgupta.com/
National Marrow Donor Program: http://www.marrow.org/Join/Join_Now/Join_Now.aspx
Internatioal Donor Registries: http://marrow.org/About/Who_We_Are/NMDP_Network/Cooperative_Registries.aspx
Seth Godin (10K): http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/10/eliminating-the-impulse-to-stall.html
Please help spread the word by +1, sharing, etc. And if you know someone of South Asian decent, please show them the way!