Parks and Recreation stars Chris Pratt and Aziz Ansari are reaching out to youth and asking them to “give a spit” about cancer. Literally.
The actors have paired up with DoSomething.org to help combat blood cancers by asking students to collect saliva (via cheek swabs) to help improve the Be The Match Marrow registry and to donate marrow through DKMS.
The campaign, which is geared toward college students, is part of an effort to collect more registered bone marrow donors to fight leukemia. Although students must be 18 or older to become a registered donor, younger students can host a drive at their schools to get people signed up. Drive organizers will receive kits for cheek swabs, which will then be used to determine marrow matches.
According to DoSomething:
- Leukemia kills more children each year than any other disease.
- Young people ages 18-24 are the bone marrow donors needed most.
- Only 30% of patients needing a marrow transplant can find a match within their family. The rest rely on complete strangers.
- Currently, the likelihood of finding a matching donor is 66 to 93 percent, depending on race or ethnicity. Minority donors are most needed.
Because the prospect of hosting a drive and donating are a little intimidating, DoSomething is offering some fun incentives. The drive that registers the most new donors win $2000 towards a party, and every drive that registers at least 200 new donors will receive a $100 gift certificate for a pizza party.
Anyone interested in donating or hosting a drive can register through DoSomething. For more information, including details about bone marrow donation, check out their FAQ page. The campaign is also working to find a match for Amit Gupta, founder of Photojojo, who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. People who are interested in specifically working to help him can sign up to do so through the DoSomething site.