Heal Emru

Emru and Me

My good friend Emru Townsend has been diagnosed with leukemia and now needs a bone marrow transplant. Hailing from Montreal, Emru started up the excellent fpsmagazine, an online (former print) magazine that boasts some of the best writing about the animation industry you'll find today. (He's a big big fan of stop-motion, by the way. And anime.) I met him at Ottawa several years ago and was astounded by his knowledge of the art-form. Plus, the dude never stopped talking. I was left speechless by the guy. Now, I'm afraid, his voice could be silenced. And I don't want that to happen. He and his sister have started up a site for others out there to learn more about Emru's situation, as well as about donating bone marrow:

Heal Emru

There's a great deal of info to read through on that site, so here's a direct link to the FAQ page: Heal Emru FAQ

I've never donated bone marrow before, but this has prompted me to do something about it.

From the site:

In mid-December, Emru was diagnosed with leukemia, and a condition called monosomy 7. Due to the monosomy 7, he has an increased risk of the leukemia coming back, no matter how successful chemotherapy is. This is where you can help save his life.

Emru needs a bone marrow transplant. This kind of therapy is administered through a transplant of bone marrow stem cells from a matching donor. The highest chances for a match are from siblings, but his only sister is not a match. As a result, he must to turn to national and international bone marrow registries to find a compatible donor. There are 11 million donors worldwide, but there is still no guarantee that he will find a match: The chances of matching another person can be as high 1 in 450 or lower than 1 in 750,000. Time is of the essence as the optimal window of opportunity is in the first few months after remission.

Emru's situation is tricky because of his ethnic background. That's why I'm sending this out to everyone I know. The more people know, the better his chances. More about Emru's chances from the site:

Q: Who is more likely to match a recipient?
A: There is a greater chance that someone from the same ethnic background will match, but the match can come from anybody. Emru will be harder to match because there are fewer people in the general immediate population with the same ethnic background.

Emru's ethnic background is mostly people of African descent, and his parents are from Jamaica and Trinidad; essentially, the more black people and West Indians donate, the better it is statistically. However, this only increases his chances. Anyone from any background might be a match. The match may come from the most unexpected donor, or may help someone else who is waiting for a donor.

Please help. Do whatever you can. Send this out to everyone you know. Donate bone marrow. Anything. Even if you might not have the same ethnic background as Emru, donate anyway -- you'll be helping others out who might be looking for a match.

Want to email Help Emru? Here: info@healemru.com.

1 comment:

  1. Just to let everyone know, being on the bone marrow registry only requires a cheek swabbing process or a blood sample, depending on where you live.

    You only consent to be on the bone marrow registry. You will be asked for consent to be a donor if the day ever arrives that you match someone.

    Ward! Thanks for your help.