Who is Amit Gupta?
An Indian, a friend and a human being who needs help. He is the founder of Photojojo. In the past… he started Jelly, worked with Seth Godin to start ChangeThis, broughtBarCamp to NYC, started a co-op called House 2.0, contributed to a WSJ best-seller with Malcolm Gladwell, Guy Kawasaki and others, and started a venture-backed company called The Daily Jolt while in college. You can follow Amit on twitter here.
What has happened?
Amit has been diagnosed with Acute Leukemia, has undergone a few months of Chemo and now needs to find a donor before November 30th 2011, to facilitate his bone marrow transplant. South Asians are severely under-represented in the bone marrow pool, and he needs help!
Why only till November 30th?
Amit’s doctors want to do the transplant as soon as possible, to improve his chances of survival. They’ve set November 30th as the deadline for test swabs to be submitted for processing, though test swabs will still be welcomed after this time.
What can I do?
Do a swab test at the nearest drive. Look up http://amitguptaneedsyou.com/ for the details on the latest drive in your location. You need to be aged between 18- 55 years to do this swab test! Do share this news using the hashtag #ISwabbedforAmit and get all your friends and folks to do the same.
Is the test painful?
A swab test is a quick and simple process, where a cotton swab is rubbed inside your cheek. It is later processed to determine your genetic typing. In India, an NGO named DATRI runs a Datri Blood Stem Cell Donors Registry and is taking care of the test kits for us.
What if I am the match? Will the bone marrow transplant harm me?
In case of a successful genetic match, stem cells are obtained from you (donor) and injected into the patient’s blood stream. This process takes about 5 days in all and is as simple as donating blood at the end of it all. To get a good picture of the process, download and watch this explanatory video. There are no known side effects of this process except many smiles and the pride of knowing you saved a life
What if I am not a match?
If you are not a match for Amit today, you could well be for someone else tomorrow. DATRI will register you as a potential donor for future and you will be contacted for possible matches. Therefore, it is imperative that you fill in your contact details accurately in the form provided to you during the swab test.
I am personally organizing a few drives in Bangalore (http://bangalore4amit.eventbrite.com) and http://chennai4amit.eventbrite.com/ in Bangalore and Chennai. Find the location nearest to you and see you there!
P.S: You can also check here for the addresses of the upcoming drives worldwide: http://amitguptaneedsyou.com/