A month ago Amit Gupta, the 32-year-old founder of photography newsletter and site Photojojo, learned he had acute leukemia and that as part of his treatment, and to save his life, he needed a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, Gupta is South Indian, and South Asians in general are poorly represented in the National Bone Marrow Registry, making up just one percent of those who’ve registered.
Amit is not without hope though. Thanks to social media and some good friends and fans, Amit’s story has spread to the masses through Twitter, blogs, Tumblr, Facebook, Flickr and more. It’s been picked up by major media outlets. Thousands have tweeted, retweeted and Tumbld about Amit’s search for a bone marrow donor. His friend and former colleague Seth Godin has offered $10,000 to the first person whose marrow matched Amit. Aviary chief Michael Galpert also has put up $10,000. His friends David Cole and Tag Savage built Amit a website – www.amitguptaneedsyou.com.
But Amit, and others who are in desperate need of a bone marrow match, need more than tweets, retweets and blog posts like this one. They need YOU (and Amit especially needs you if you’re of South Asian descent) to register in the National Bone Marrow Registry and swab to see if you’re a match.
It’s simple. Join right now. Don’t hesitate. Click here and do it. It takes barely a minute. Okay, maybe two. Once you do it, they’ll send you a kit to your home that includes cotton-tipped swabs and instructions on how to use the swabs to take cell samples from the inside of your cheeks. A postage-paid envelope will be included for you to send the samples back to them.
After you register, organize a drive in your city, at your workplace, or an event. To learn how, go here.
So what if you’re a match? Thankfully the majority of donations today do not require surgery and are completely painless. In fact, the experience is similar to donating blood, with the only drawback, boredom. Not much of a price to pay to save a life right?
Time is running out for Amit. It’s running out for so many others right now. Their lives depend on our action.