Daily Archives: September 16, 2008


Today Emru Townsend is having the bone marrow transplant he desperately needs. Emru was diagnosed with leukemia and a condition called monosomy 7 about nine months ago. Since then he has received over 48 blood transfusions, has taken countless medications to control various aspects of the leukemia (and the side-effects of those medications), and has been in and out of the hospital with colds and other things we’d consider minor, but with his immune system compromised they become very dangerous to him.

There is NO GUARANTEE his body will accept this transplant. Like other transplants, there is the danger of the host rejecting the transplant, the transplant not taking, and the ever-present danger of infection.

From the very start Emru and his sister Tamu have turned this situation into a drive to raise awareness and teach people about bone marrow transplants and encourage people to list themselves on their country’s bone marrow registry. Cultural minorities in North America (and indeed, worldwide) are particularly under-represented on these registries, a fact that the Townsend siblings have targeted as their main focus.

Emru is only one of millions of people who needs bone marrow transplants to deal with a variety of illnesses and conditions. The most important issue at the moment is that we continue to educate, myth-bust, and spread information about the importance of adding your name to the bone marrow registry of your country. Emru is only one man; there are thousands and thousands of people out there who still need a bone marrow transplant to save their lives. Keep the HealEmru.com link circulating; keep mentioning it to everyone you meet. The majority of racial groups are still under-represented, and that’s not going to change overnight.

Emru’s been blogging his journey and treatment, and it makes for sober but enlightening reading. I am proud of all my friends for a variety of reasons, but Emru and Tamu Townsend are stars. They have tirelessly worked for this cause and given so much of themselves. The campaign may be called Heal Emru, but Emru’s name stands for every single individual who is struggling with an illness and needs a donor for stem cells, bone marrow, or peripheral cell transplant.

The HEal Emru FAQs answer some of the common questions people have about bone marrow donation.
The Heal Emru site lists contact information for registries around the world.

Prayer and good thoughts while Emru has his surgery today are good things (likewise during the recovery period while the transplant settles). Apart from this, the easiest thing you can do is walk up to someone and say, “Hey, have you heard about your country’s bone marrow registry?”

Are you a match? Find out how you can help save Emru’s life: http://www.healemru.com

Got Facebook? Please join Help Emru Find a Bone Marrow Donor and if you learn something new, invite your friends.
Got Livejournal, WordPress or Blogger? Blog it!
Got Youtube? Subscribe to www.youtube.com/healemru
Just find someone you care about and tell them.

Contact info:

Hema Quebec http://www.hema-quebec.qc.ca
Canada Blood Services (Canada, except Quebec) http://onematch.ca/registry
National Marrow Donor Program (US) http://www.marrow.org