Thanks again to the community at Hope Midtown for volunteering their time, space and resources in hosting the first ever Cheekswab bone marrow drive in NYC this past Sunday. Running a drive in NYC definitely presents challenges over running a drive in VA (including taking supplies to/from the drive location in a suitcase via cab) and due to the three year period since my last drive I had a few anxieties going into Sunday but it went as smoothly as I could have possibly hoped. Personally I felt like the drive validated all of the effort that’s been put into relaunching Cheekswab. It really seemed like people on Sunday understood and accepted the weight of the commitment of joining the registry.
And a huge, huge thank you to the friends and family who took time out of their Sunday to volunteer and man stations at the drive, as well as receive training earlier in the week. Running drives is still an art that I’m nowhere near perfecting but things go so much more smoothly with the help of patient and willing volunteers. None of this is possible without you.
I’m now looking for additional opportunities to run drives addressing ethnic minority groups in NYC. Please contact me if there’s a group or organization you’re involved with that would be interested!
Thank you KCPC SNL for the opportunity to share my personal story and host a bone marrow drive at your service. The reception to the drive was awesome, and 47 new donors right before the new year was a great way to round out an exciting year.
Please remember to share the cause with your friends, family, schools, student organizations, coworkers, etc.! With education and awareness I firmly believe that an absence of minority bone marrow donors is a problem that can be eliminated within our lifetimes. Thank you for your willingness to save lives!
This brings the official total of in-person bone marrow registrations for Cheekswab to 463 for the year!
With bone marrow drives at ODPC (Sunday), GMU (Thursday), and Chesterbrook Taiwanese Presbyterian Church (CTPC) on Friday and Sunday, this past week was pretty busy. But with the help of the GMU Vietnamese Student Association, the staff and members of CTPC and friends who volunteered at each of the drives, 79 new donors were registered this week in honor of Janet Liang. By adding CTPC to the Team Janet East Coast drives from UMCP, UMBC, GWU, EVMS and GMU, that brings the total new East Coast registrants for Janet Liang to 347 people!
George Mason University Marrow Drive, Thursday, 2/23
The bone marrow drive at Open Door Presbyterian Church on Sunday was an amazing display of generosity by not only the ODPC congregation but the community at large. In addition to the incredible response of members of ODPC, there were a number of visitors and volunteers at the drive who had heard of Andrew’s cause via social media or the Internet and decided to come out to the drive to help or join the registry.
The amazing part about this drive was how invested ODPC was in the drive’s promotion and success. Often times at churches marrow drives can become something of an afterthought or minor bullet on the itinerary. But ODPC, with its over 700 weekly attendees, went above and beyond the call of duty (in a very short 3 week period) to do all that they could to run a successful drive.
On Friday a few friends and I had the pleasure of running a bone marrow drive at Grace Christian Fellowship at the University of Virginia. The response from GCF was overwhelming.
As the first “official” cheekswab drive, there were a lot of unknowns going into Friday. I was told that a reasonable estimate for attendees was in the ballpark of anywhere from 60-80 people, based on previous events of a similar nature. It’s always a difficult exercise to make any worthwhile estimates about the number of kits needed for a group of x size because the response can be so variable. For example, the first drive I was ever a part of was coordinated through a different bone marrow organization. The drive was scheduled for a church congregation of 100 people, and the drive organizer was told that for a congregation of 100 people, we’d be lucky to get 10 registrations. For whatever reason, more experience seems to set the level of expectation lower rather than higher.