Photographer and comics writer Seth Kushner was recently, and quite suddenly, diagnosed with leukemia — as Hannah Means Shannon relates, he went from seemingly healthy to having the flu to hospitalization, all within two weeks — and now requires a bone marrow transplant.
A celebrated portrait photographer, Kushner is well known in comics circles for his collaboration with writer Christopher Irving on Graphic NYC and on the book Leaping Tall Bounds: The Origins of American Comics. A member of Brooklyn’s Hang Dai Studio, he’s also created numerous photocomix, and collaborated with numerous artists on the webcomic Schmuck, whose print collection was successfully funded last month on Kickstarter.
Kushner’s wife Terra has now issued a call for people to register in the National Marrow Donor Program, the nonprofit organization that maintains the national donor registry. You can read her full message below:
Bone Marrow Donations for Seth KushnerAs you may know, Seth will need a bone marrow transplant. His transplant doctor is starting the process to search for potential donors through the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), which maintains a national registry of potential matching bone marrow donors. Many of you have inquired about how you can find out if you qualify to be a potential donor.
Basically what you do is register via online or phone & swab your cheek. Here are a couple organizations you can use.
Delete Blood Cancer – I personally went to this website, registered online from my iPhone, received a swap in the mail with 24 hours, mailed back the swab & was told it will show up in the register within 3 weeks. They claim to be the quickest.
National Donor Registry – this is the registry that is directly associated with the NMDP.
More specific details are laid out on the websites above. If you decide you want to be a donor, you can:
• register online (they will send you a kit through the mail to swab your cheek that you will mail back- prepaid postage included)
•go to an approved center to swab your cheek (locations listed on sites)
•organize a bone marrow donation drive or “swab” party.
As far as I can see, the basic criteria for potential donors are:
•lives in the US
•not in the US military
•haven’t already joined the registry
•willing to be a potential donor to anyone*
*Perhaps the most important point about volunteering through the national registry is that you cannot specifically sign up to donate to Seth. It is a big commitment to join the registry, and your efforts can be enormously rewarding, but the process is designed to find patients anywhere in the country or world who may benefit by being a match to you. Therefore it does not provide an option to specify who you wish to help.
I’ll keep you updated on the matching process as things move along.
Let’s pray that we quickly get a donor!
— with Seth Kushner.