Appeal for South Asian bone marrow donors for Amit Gupta

Elizabeth Stark sez,

Friend of Boing Boing Amit Gupta was recently diagnosed with cancer, and he needs help finding a bone marrow donor match. In fact, for someone of South Asian descent, the odds of finding a donor are currently only 1 in 20,000. But we can change that. A few ways to help:

1. If you're South Asian, get a free test by mail. You rub your cheeks with a cotton swab and mail it back. It's easy.

2. If you're in NYC, you can go to this event organized by friends of Amit. Or organize a donor drive near you (the most helpful thing you could possibly do!) email They’ll send you kits, flyers, tell you what to say, and make the whole process easy cheesy.

3. If you know any South Asians (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, or Sri Lanka), please point 'em to the links above. Thank you.


  1. If you are interested, you may try to see if the good folks at the National Marrow Registry can help.

    I’m already registered there along with a lot of others. Perhaps, there is already a perfect match in that database. Tests and such are done before donors are listed.

    Good Luck!


    1. The link to get a free test by mail goes to the National Marrow Registry website, so I assume that’s who they’re working with, and they’ve checked the existing donors already.

      I’m on that registry, but I’m of entirely European descent — and so are most of their registered donors. They have really been trying to register more donors of other types of descent.

      Good thoughts going out to Amit. May he find the perfect marrow match!

  2. If you’re in Chicago, you can join NetIP Chicago’s Bone Marrow Drive on 10/20 –

  3. For Canadians, the marrow and stem cell donor program is

    Same deal.  Answer a questionnaire and swab your cheeks.  Easy and painless, and if you do match as a donor, you have the opportunity at that point to decide whether or not to donate.

  4. I’m homozygous for Factor V Leiden, so I’m apparently not eligible to donate marrow.  I am somewhat surprised that racial descent is such a major factor in compatibility, though.

    1. Yup, they are looking for genetic match. So your siblings are at the top of the list, then you go down to cousins, parents, extended families etc. That’s why the race is a huge factor.  A white guy has about 0% chance of matching genetically to a south asian. 

  5. I’m on the registry too, and remind my facebook and twitter friends at least monthly how easy it is to join. Unfortunately, I have a lot of gay friends or friends who have had sex with a man who has had sex with a man, and they are not eligible to donate blood or bone marrow.

  6. I’ve had the privilege of working with LOTS of people of Indian/Bangladeshi descent, and shot a note (and the link) out to everyone I have in my LinkedIn, just now.

    I’m registered for marrow donation through the Red Cross, but I’m a Euro dude. :(

  7. I’ve got Multiple sclerosis, not eligible to donate until recently we couldn’t donate blood either… some places still don’t let us.

  8. It’s great that there’s a drive for Amit, and that you all are registered(I’m ineligible or I would be).   But I really hope that this helps more than just 1 person and that they’re also trying to match everyone tested to other recipients as well. 

  9. I’m Indian, and just signed up for Canada’s bone marrow matching program! Best wishes to Amit.

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