Hope and Healing

I wasn’t online yesterday so I missed the bone marrow registry/Heal Emru reminder blog-a-thon date, but better late than never, especially in a case like this.

I’ve said it before, but I’m saying it again: it’s quick, easy, and you’ll likely never get called. But if you do, you’ll be giving up a day or so of your life to save someone else’s.

Here’s the pertinent point: ethnic minorities are woefully under-represented in the registry, so if you’re of Ashkenazi, South Asian, East Asian, Pacific Islander, Aboriginal, Caribbean, African or mixed ethnic heritage — among many others — it’s even more important that you add your information to the registry to provide a wider pool from which a matching sample may be drawn. If you’re tested in regards to a relative, make sure to say that you want to be on the unrelated donor registry as well.

Emru was diagnosed with leukaemia in mid-December of 2007. As is typical of their enormous hearts and giving souls, Emru and his sister Tamu have taken this opportunity to work on behalf of everyone who needs a bone marrow transplant. The web site may be called Heal Emru, but it’s about people everywhere with cancer or sickle cell anaemia who are suffering daily while they wait and pray for a matching donor to be found. The excellent web site features clear FAQs, contact info for registries all over the world, information on how to register, copies of interviews they’ve given in print and audio media as well as related interviews or articles, and flyers and other images to print out and use wherever you can. The web site now exists in French as well as English.

It’s not just Emru. It’s every single person out there, hoping that a match will be found so that they can go on living.

Drop by your local blood clinic and talk to them about the process. It’s important. It’s such a small thing on your part, but someone else’s life and well-being, and the lives of their family and friends and colleagues.

The impact you can make is beyond measuring.


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