Let’s Help Amit Defeat Leukemia!

Amit has Leukemia. Help us help him!




Update x: Join the Internet Loves Amit Facebook group and follow #4amit to stay tuned for updates!

Update: The best thing you can do is get anyone you know of South Asian descent to take a very simple, free, painless test and spread the word to their friends. You can take the test at our party on October 14th or register online to receive a kit! There is a cost associated with each test, but the person taking the test is not required to pay it. We are, however, trying to raise as much money as we can to support the test costs. Send any dollar amount to 4amit@nwc.co on Paypal to help!

Update #2: In the comments below, Ziv points out the following things:

(1) Registering and getting the swab kit, is free.
(2) The transplant is not done through a needle in the back, in most cases. It’s done via a blood-transfusion-like machine, and is totally painless.

I’m not an expert at any of this, though I am learning fast! Best bet if you have any questions is to check the official sources, like marrow.org.


Update #3: By “South Asian” I am told that means (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, or Sri Lanka).

Update #4: A page that is chock full of resources and details can be found here: http://u.nwc.co/4amitdoc

Yesterday, we lost one of the great luminaries of our time to cancer.

Today, we have an opportunity to help others in their fight. In particular, one of the most special people I know: Amit Gupta.

Amit is the founder of the endlessly wonderful DIY photography site Photojojo. He’s the cofounder of Jelly, a casual coworking community which started in New York in 2006 and spread to over 60 cities worldwide, acting as the starting point for countless coworking communities. The original Jelly in New York was my first coworking experience, and my firsthand inspiration to dedicate myself to what would become New Work City.

Jelly was formed at House 2.0, a place Amit co-founded after college as a den of geeky happiness. House 2.0 was a big beautiful loft space in midtown, where creative art projects and the markered scrawlings of visitors adorned the walls everywhere, and where something as crazy as Jelly could live. I moved into House 2.0 when Amit moved out in 2007; it was my first home in New York City since I was a baby.

Amit has changed the world with his actions and through the people he has inspired. Anyone who knows him will tell you that he is one of the most special people they know, and they are right. Rarely will you find an individual with such a combination of warmth, charm, and tenacity.

Amit has leukemia. He was diagnosed only two weeks ago, but already so much has happened. He’s undergoing chemotherapy now at Connecticut’s Smilow Cancer Center in Yale-New Haven Hospital, near his family.

To aid him in his fight, Amit is going to need a bone marrow transfusion. Unlike blood transfusions, finding a genetic match for bone marrow that his body will accept is no easy task. The national bone marrow registry has 9.5 million records on file, yet the chances of someone from South Asian descent of finding a match are only 1 in 20,000.

This is where we come in. We’re going to destroy those odds.

How? By finding and registering as many people of South Asian descent as we possibly can.

Tests are easy– a simple swab of the cheek. If you are determined to be a match, you could literally save the life or Amit or someone else!

That’s why, starting now, we are encouraging anyone, but particularly those of South Asian descent, between the ages of 18 to 60 to take a test to see if you’re a match. 

You can register online for your test, or, if you’re in New York, you can join us Friday, October 14th, for a special party we are throwing to rally support.

We’ll have test kits on hand at the party, as well as music, booze, and maybe even a photo booth. It will, for the first time, combine a House 2.0-style party with a New Work City-style party, and if you’ve ever been to either, you know they are always something special.

Even if you can’t attend or get tested, you can still help.

While you are not required to pay to be tested, the bone marrow tests do cost money. We want to do our part to pay for the tests we will be sending in, so you can donate using the below registration form to help! Donate whatever you can do 4amit@nwc.co – the money will go to the cost of the tests.

You can also help by reaching out to any South Asian friends you know and asking them to spread the word to their friends and relatives.

Minorities are severely underrepresented in the bone marrow registry, so getting more people to register could help save many other lives as well.

Despite all of his challenges, Amit has maintained an unstoppable attitude of positivity and energy. Let’s do the same and help him defeat this thing, so he can continue to inspire us with his awesomeness for many years to come.

Direct link to the party: http://brownbones.eventbrite.com

Help spread the word on Facebook: http://facebook.com/event.php?eid=268285533204616

  • Nishta

    I’m brown and I’m in the registry!  Best of luck to you, Amit.  If they call me, my marrow is all yours.

  • Nishta

    I’m brown and I’m in the registry!  Best of luck to you, Amit.  If they call me, my marrow is all yours.

  • http://twitter.com/danielpunkass Daniel Jalkut

    Great idea and kudos to you for encouraging more people to register as donors.

    It’s a shame the donor registry is not willing to accept all registrants who could potentially save Amit’s life. For example, any man who has had sex with another man in the past 5 years is disqualified from registering.What if that man is Amit’s 1 in 20,000 chance of finding a donor?

    • Loveall777

      That sucks. But, I had a friend with a lot of gay male friends and friends living with HIV and folks should register and ignore the homophobia if they haven’t been at risk since their last negative test. A lot of his friends did. My opinion…

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.laudati Peter C. Laudati

    Hi all,
    There is a HUGE South Asian population in Central NJ along the Northeast Corridor train line. If anyone can volunteer time, it might be worth printing out signs and posting at the MetroPark and Edison train stations.  It’s only a 35-40 minute train ride from Penn Station if any NYC folks can afford an hour or two away out of the city.

  • Jaki Levy

    My father was diagnosed with AML (the same kind of leukemia Amit has) and survived for 7 years – he was one of the oldest people to go through the treatment at the time and was very lucky to find a donor so quickly – his donor (his sister) did not have to undergo the painful donor procedure – it was a stem cell transplant and basically worked like a blood donation and was not a complicated or painful procedure (from the pov of the donor). I am more than happy to provide and info/insight/advice on this.

  • Andrew

    Good luck Amit!
    I can only send my best wishes and hopes to you, your friends and family.Come, let’s beat blood cancer!(In remission for H. Lymphoma, Liverpool, United Kingdom)

  • Bilahari

    I am from Indian sub-continent, I am in the registry and I hope mine will match yours or you will find one in your close family. Good luck.


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  • Ziv

    Amit is a super cool and amazing guy. EVERYONE that can, should register. 

    But I have a couple of corrections:

    Registering and getting the swab kit, is free.
    The transplant is not done through a needle in the back, in most cases. It’s done via a blood-transfusion-like machine, and is totally painless.

    I’ve been in the registry since 94 (never been called, unfortunately)

    Amit, they’ll find someone for you, and you’ll get 100% through this.

    • http://tonybacigalupo.com Tony Bacigalupo

      Ziv, thanks for the notes; I’ve updated the post with your comments up top!

  • http://twitter.com/karaemurphy Kara Murphy

    I’m spreading the word every way I can. Amit is a wonderful person and needs to beat this. I encourage everyone to help in any way they can.

    • Fouad

      i’m confused. What if Amit wasn’t such a wonderful and amazing person? Does he still not need to beat this?

      • DZADrules

        Even if he was in prison for whatever, he still needs to beat it, Fouad.  Kara’s probably a personal friend who is trying to drive that point home.  Do what you can, I know you’re South Asian 😉

        • Fouad

          i’m already registered at onematch.com :)

  • Jojolynn

    I have previously worked harvesting stem cells from umbilical cord blood. These cells, are the same ones found in bone marrow, and can save lives. My work made me want to join the national registry, but I have just recently been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, which prevents me from becoming a donor. I wish Amit all the luck in the world finding a compatible donor and having a successful transplant.

  • http://www.yourlifeyourway.net/2011/09/19/300-reasons-to-be-happy-things-to-love-about-your-life-now/ Tia Sparkles

    I’m in Canada, and I know there’s a big Indian community in Vancouver. Are you looking for worldwide donors? Will spread the word. Hang in there Amit, you seem like a crazy cool amazeballs person! xo Tia

    • Ziv

      I believe that the search is worldwide. My daughter’s best friend had a successful transplant a few months ago, but they won’t know who the donor is, for at least a year. But I’m pretty sure that the people in charge of the search, don’t just search in the US… I could be wrong.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Landrey/1292465863 Ann Landrey

      He is. I’m in Canada too, Toronto. Big South Asian population. Yes worldwide donors. I understand many of the registries are linked. I got linked up to South Asians 4 Life, sa4l.org, which partners in Canada with OneMatch. Advice I got is, piggyback on drives/events in your communitie(s). The more South Asians who register, the better the chances are for all. “All for one and one for all”.

  • Anonymous

    I believe in rare cases they look internationally, at least that’s what my sons consultant told me.    He is 2 and half years in remission now from AML, is  mixed race and will need bone marrow if he relapses.  So, wherever you are please just register.  Amit, I hope a match comes your way very soon.   

  • Seema Sophia

    I am south asian and just signed up to the registry.. Peace & Light Amit.. 

  • http://blog.jayparkinsonmd.com/ Jay Parkinson, MD

    Here’s what seems like an excellent resource:


  • Sanj

    Came across this and inspired me to finally sign up in the donor registry!  Sadly, like the military, you’re not eligible if you’re gay (lying would be unethical). Wish I could have been more help, but will continue to at the least send positive energy Amit’s way!

    • Do-the-right-thing

      Hey, just because it’s legal does not make it right. What is MORE unethical is to NOT lie IF you haven’t been at risk since you last tested negative. C’mon folks, what’s next, will you report your best friend for smoking pot?!  Report your undocumented neighbors?! Send in the names of antiwar activist friends to the FBI?!

  • Tim Southy

    Leukemia is very hard stuff to fight but we should keep in mind the this was misconception for tuberculosis too. So lets not stop and fight this disease hard.

  • Karima Sundarji

    Didn’t make the event at Nwc few weeks ago but I’m Indian but I just registered.

  • Naziyamjad