Monday, October 15, 2012

Kurt Strong and your chance to help

I posted before about Kurt and his struggle.  Let me tell you about Kurt.  Not only is he my son's friend, but he's a very smart young man.  He is the kind of kid you meet and you go, "Wow, there is hope for this generation yet."  He is a good student, and he likes science, technology and soccer, but he's not perfect, he's a kid.  He also has fun.  He likes Facebook and YouTube and games, and the same things all 16 year old kids like.  But, he's been trapped in a hospital, in an illness - one that might kill him,  for well over a year now.  The good news, is somebody out there can fix it.

Let me tell you about his mom.  Despite a busy career, she was always first to volunteer for school things.  She brought in food for teachers, and gave her time and energy.  She did this even after Kurt was diagnosed, although she had to give up her career to take care of him full time.   She brought me a plate of delicious chocolate brownie goodie things, because I had cancer. While her son was sick.

Can you imagine his mom's worry?

A 16 year old boy is fighting for his life, and you have the power to save him.  It's in your hands.  You can give a mother her son back, and a son his life.   What an honor that would be.  That would be karma points enough to get you into heaven.

After my last post about him, many of you have said that you ordered marrow donation kits in honor of Kurt  and boy, do I thank you for that.   But now I'm asking for more.

First, like his page on facebook:

His family finds comfort in religion so if you swing that way, send them your prayers.

Then, I'm calling on everybody in the Sacramento region age 18 and up to come to Mira Loma High School on Monday, October 29th to show your support.  From 2:00 to 7:00 pm, in the Library, we will be having a marrow drive to try to save this young man's life.

I will be there.  I am actually going to take off my PJs and get dressed. I'll up my pain meds if I have to, but I will volunteer.  I will do whatever is necessary, including swabbing cheeks or filling out paperwork.  I am, my friends, in pain these days. Halaven is causing my tumor to hurt - I can feel it in the liver; it's very weird.  I can't breathe well.  I'm tired.  I sleep, a lot.

You know what that means?  It means, your excuse is gone.

If I am going, you can't say "Oh, I'm too tired."  You aren't as tired as me.  Is it too far away?  No, it's not.  If I can go, you can too.  You can take off early from work, you can take a late lunch - surely you have done that for less.  State Workers, I'm talking to you.  I know there are lots of you who are Asian, and I know you have furlough days.  Why not take one on Monday?

You can go immediately after work; the event will go to 7:00 and if people are in line, we'll wait.  This isn't about time.  It's about saving somebody who has a long, productive life ahead of him.  Somebody who will do good in the world.

Have to get home and cook?  Here's a hint:  There is a Raley's grocery 1/4 mile away so you can stop, get swabbed, buy a bracelet to show support, hit the store for dinner, pop on the freeway,  and you are done. The take-out chickens are great.

The entire Mira Loma school community will be out in force to help, and I challenge you to join that community. Become a Matador and fight the Bullshit that is cancer.

It's easy.  They will swab your cheek.  No needles, no pain.  That's it.  Then I will give you a hug.   If you are Asian, I'll give you two. If you are Chinese, I will give you three!

There will be a shirt that you can sign that will be presented to Kurt, so he knows that everybody is pulling for him.  There will be bracelets for sale that go to the Leukemia Society (to help pay for all of this) and other things we are working on, including getting the press involved.  Do you hear that Sacramento Bee, Sacramento Connect, SacTown Magazine?  Time to put this in your publications, tweet it out,  and get the word out.  You have a responsibility to save a life too.

I realize most of my readers don't live in Sacramento.  But, maybe you have a friend who does.  Maybe a friend of a friend does.  You don't know who knows who and who lives where. The world is small.  I met a a person who became a friend in Chicago,  and it turns out her cousin used to sit next to me in the infusion room in CA.

So, share this post.  Like Kurt's page on Facebook.  Make sure your friends share too.

How many dumb things have I seen passed along on facebook?  A silly joke by George Takai can reach millions. A kitten jumping can get the world to smile.   So, why not this be the thing that goes across the nation?

Here is a minor hitch.  If you are over 44, you have to sign up (on site, we will have computers there) and pay $100.00.  That is to cover the costs.  Everybody 44 and under is free.   I'm guessing that since you can only donate until you are 61, they can't afford to sign everybody up for free.  Your donation time is lessened so you have to pay.  You know what?  Do it anyway. If you are 45 and of Chinese descent   $100.00 is nothing for this young man's life.  Alternatively, if you have $100.00 to give and are already on the registry, bring it by to pay for somebody else.

I'm warning you, this is going to turn into a nag.  I will blog this again and again.  And, my husband will attest, I'm a pretty damn fine nagger!

Bottom line:   My life will not be saved.  I want Kurt's to be saved in my place.  You can make that happen.

I will see you from 2:00 to 7:00 on October 28th at Mira Loma High School's Library.  The address is 4000 Edison Avenue, 95821.

I'll be the one in the scarf.

(You can still donate at home.  Read my previous post on how to do it, linked at the top)


  1. Ann,

    What is the age range to be tested? My daughter (from China) is 13... My husband and I were both tested a few years back and are in the registry. (tho, I doubt I qualify, since I had TNBC) If she qualifies, can she be tested in Carson City?

    Thanks, Suzanne

    1. Suzanne,

      thanks for asking the question. I have an almost 15 yo from China.


  2. She has to be 18, unfortunately. If you were treated with chemo you cannot donate either. But, you can do it at home, so tell your friends and neighbors and anybody who qualifies. I wrote about how to get a home donation kit here:

  3. I heard the bone marrow drive is October 29th on Monday- at Mira Loma High's Library. So please check the date you're publicizing. Thanks for getting the word out-

  4. hi anne today's my birthday and i think i just got the best birthday present ever as i read your blog post .....because i just know that someone is going to show up on october 28 and be a match for kurt. your post cheered me up and pulled me out of my own "woe is me cause my cancer came back" self.

    hope you have a great day and thanks for being an inspiration. nicola

    1. Nicola, I'm sorry you had a relapse. Happy Birthday anyway, you'll have many more to come.

  5. Hi--Thanks to your first post about this, I ordered my kit, and sent it in on Saturday. And I've told anyone that will listen to get one too. Be well--Laurie

  6. Yes, I had a typoe that is fixed. It is MONDAY the 29th, not Monday the 28th. :) Thank you for pointing that out.

    Thank you to all who have ordered kits and are contrubing that way. I can't thank you enough. And, I hope to meet many people at Mira Loma on Monday. The Sacramento Asian community needs to become involved in this too so please spread the word.

  7. Been in the registry for over a decade. Do it, it's easy. And if you're "one of those" religious folk you have no excuse!!! I am praying too! This may sound dumb...but what about setting up a table in China Town of San Fran? ;-)

  8. My name is Clay and I am conducting a survey of public opinion of the Susan G. Komen foundation. If you are interested in participating follow the link: Thanks.

  9. Thanks to you, I submitted my kit this week. Be well! Laurie

  10. Hi Anne,

    I'm 62 just one year above the limit. Can I help man the table or do something else,


    1. This is Jodie Thayer and I am doing most of the organizing of the drive on the 29th. If you want to help out, feel free to contact me at and I will sign you up to help man the tables. I am taking anyone and everyone that wants to help. My philosophy is that there can't be too many people who care enough to come out and give up a few hours to help out and if I have more people than I need, I am willing to bet some sort of another way of helping will get started. Please contact me.

  11. I'm sure you can help. You can email jthayer AT and volunteer. See you there.

  12. Ann,

    Within three days, a friend posted a link to your blog and my company of over 90,000 employees asked us to consider registering as bone marrow donors. What a coicidence! I have answered the dual nagging forces and registered to be a donor as of this morning.

    Thanks for a terrific blog and best wishes to you.



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