Just a few weeks in, and the response has been absolutely incredible. Amit’s story has captivated the attention of the mass media and inspired participation from people around the world, with new efforts popping up every day. Here’s a quick compendium of updates:
The party was awesome.
I’ve hosted a lot of parties, but this one was unlike any other. The people who arrived were not just partygoers looking for a good time, but people who were legitimately there to participate and help. The energy was unique and incredible. We swabbed over 150 people, and in total raised over $4,000 in donations to put toward the costs of the test kits so far.
You can now donate directly to Be the Match to support Amit’s cause by donating here! This way, your donations will be tax deductible, and I won’t have to be nervous about handling more money
Bid on a golden teapot to support Amit. Seriously.
I met Joey Roth at a Jelly at Amit’s apartment four years ago, when he was piloting a new kind of teapot he called Sorapot. It’s since become a huge hit, and Joey has built a hell of a career for himself. To support Amit, Joey has crafted special 24 karat gold-plated Sorapots and offered them up for auction. The first one is available here. Get bidding!
A new clearinghouse has been established.
Head to AmitGuptaNeedsYou.comfor the basics on getting a test kit, organizing a drive of your own, international information, FAQ, a calendar, and other ways you can help. This was the first of what we anticipate will be several events here in NYC. Email isurusen at gmail.com if you’re interested in participating in future efforts!
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 email@example.com 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).
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org - 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.