This dude is Amit Gupta:
Every year, about 130,000 people are diagnosed with leukemia or other blood cancers, and 12,000 of them need a bone marrow transplant to even have a shot at survival. You see, for any person with an illness requiring a marrow transplant–say, acute leukemia, lymphoma, or aplastic anemia–seeking a bone marrow match is a hell of a job: even within your own family, your chances of finding a match are only 30%.
But as a person of color, it can be even rougher: Of the 7.4 million national registered bone marrow donors as of January 2009, only 7.6% are African American, 7.2% are Asian American, and 5.2% are Hispanic, and 3% are mixed race (Caucasians? 73%, at over 5.4 million donors). For those of you who are super visual, this is what those stats look like:
Basically, this ends up meaning that of all the white patients seeking a donor match, 66% will be successful; of minority patients, only 25% will be able to say the same.
The perfect match isn’t only a matter of race, however; often, finding the right donor is more a question of ethnicity. While Asian Americans in total account for 7.2% of the donor pool, South Asians, (classified for these purposes as people of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Nepali, Bhutanese, Maldivian, or Sri Lankan descent) make up a cold 1.9%.
Which brings us back to Amit’s party.
Amit (remember him? He totally likes you!) is a photographer/entrepreneur/generally great sounding human being who was diagnosed with acute leukemia a few weeks ago. Even though the number of registered national donors has increased by about 2 million since 2009 (woo!), his chances at finding a donor match of South Asian descent stand at about 1 in 20,000.
But, as Amit Gupta is the best, he’s having a giant party/donor drive at New Work City THIS FRIDAY NIGHT to try and up the number of registered donors of South Asian descent. So if you are of South Asian descent or have friends of South Asian descent (or just generally enjoy party-going), head on down to Broadway and Canal this Friday night, have a little adventure, meet some new people, get your cheek swabbed (that’s all it takes to test for matches!), and get your groove on. Look! I already got you directions from Barnard! You’re halfway there already.