NMDP: TEDxMidAtlantic Drive


I volunteered with the National Marrow Donor Program at TEDxMidAtlantic on Saturday in DC. Getting to the building was an adventure; I had to take in a box of supplies so I had to drive in, and every other road in DC was closed down for a marathon/walk/HORSE SHOW at Verizon Center. It was raining pretty hard too. So I parked in a garage 12 blocks away and walked to the venue, carefully holding my umbrella over the 25 pound box of swab kits since I didn’t want to get those wet. I thought my arms were going to fall off by the time I got there.

TED was really cool, and I anticipate going to one as an audience member soon. The marrow drive was somewhat of a success — we registered 21 donors which is great, but only a fraction of those were minorities. I don’t know if any of them were South Asian, which was the target group we were going for in honor of Amit Gupta.

I was finally able to meet the NMDP Northeast drive coordinator Juliette, and she is both awesome and hilarious. Very generous with her time and energy in pursuing the cause of recruiting donors, in addition to being a wealth of insight into what it takes to logistically run a successful drive. Turns out fundraising is a much, much bigger issue than I originally anticipated. It was awesome working with her and she gave me a lot of great advice about Cheekswab, which she thinks is a fantastic idea.

We ran into a couple of famous folks, which was cool. Reggie Watts was a super nice guy and tweeted our cause. Gbenga Akinnagbe, who was Chris Partlow in the HBO series “The Wire,” registered to be a donor. I consider The Wire as my favorite television series ever, so it was great to meet the guy face to face. Also a super nice guy.

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