To Read Tami's Story from the Beginning

Just CLICK HERE. Her blog begins on March 12, 2009 with a post titled "Tami's Myelodysplasia Diagnosis." Then at the bottom of each post, click on the words "Newer Post" located just below the comments section on each page.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Tech Museum Donor Drive

Yesterday was our donor drive for Tami at The Museum of Technology and Innovation (better known as "The Tech") in downtown San Jose, CA. Many of our new registrants and even some volunteers were able to tour the museum for free as the second Sunday of each month is the day the museum has a "Free Day" opening their doors to those who might not otherwise be able to go in and enjoy the many exhibits and interactive areas of the museum.

We added 26 people to the National Marrow Donor Program registry yesterday, 24 of which were people who are ethnic minorities or people of mixed races! Two were Caucasian which is also great because 20% of caucasian patients in need do not find matching donors. But that's not all we did...

The media turned out in force! Here my new friend Paul, who is a member of "Team," is interviewed by a Mandarin reporter who came down to cover the drive for her publication. I was also interviewed by a different paper. We'll be posting links to the articles as soon as they are published. We're so grateful for the media interest yesterday and to Sal Pizzaro from the Mercury News who told his readers about the drive last week in his column. Their involvement is helping us to spread the word far beyond what we could accomplish ourselves.

One of our volunteers, Vicki, was featured in an interview for a local Mandarin TV news program that aired last night. You can see the clip on Youtube. John even got a 1/2 second cameo at the end of the clip :)

The night before I put together a bunch of signs I had printed at Kinkos. I really wanted us to have signs to more easily catch the attention of people entering the museum so that they knew we were there for a purpose. Included on our large signs were Michelle Maykin from Project, Tami and Matthew from Team I can't tell you how much I appreciate that Team Matthew even sent 7 volunteers to help us out at the drive.

On the back were two "cheat sheets" in plastic sleeves to help out our volunteers who had never volunteered at a drive before. On the left was information about Tami including her condition and hospitalization. On the right were answers to questions about the donor program and registration process.

There was also a small pocket filled with Tami's business cards. They were offered to people who are already in the registry but wanted to help us spread the word by giving the cards to people they know and sending them to the website to order a test kit online. We also gave them to people who didn't have time to stop to register yesterday so that they could order an online kit for themselves.

For those interested, I'll show you how I made our multi-purpose signs in an upcoming post.

Here was my friend Maureen out on the street flagging down passing cars with her sign to let them know something was up. It hadn't occurred to me that we could have people outside so the next time we do a drive I'll create some large, bright arrow signs that simply say in bold letters "MARROW DRIVE TODAY →" that our volunteers can use on the street.

We had 5 tables to work with that day. This was the greeting table where people could approach to ask questions and pick up a testing kit.

This is our friend Vicki who was our "actor" in a PSA video that our friends at Savadelis Films came down to create for us.

Chuck and Jewel spent 3 hours creating a video to show people what it's like to attend a live donor drive. We'll be posting it on the Helping website and they are also going to make it available to any patient who would like to put it on their website or blog as well as any donor programs that would like to utilize it. The Tech Museum even requested a copy for their video library!

Other friends from the wedding industry came down to help us out. Here Amy Frugoli from Twitterpated Weddings even brought her hubby James down for a couple of hours. And Jung and Natalie Wi, from Allure West Studios, both got swabbed to help Tami. Also Tami's colleague and friend Edward, and his wife Deena, came out to help us. Edward will have a cameo in the PSA that was shot that day. I'll be sure to point him out when the video is released.

And this is Melany from Shanel's Flowers and Frames. Her specialty is freeze drying and framing bridal bouquets. She swung by on her way to her family's Easter Dinner. Thanks so much for taking the time to come down Melany!

This photo by: Amy Frugoli

Hey that's me, holding a small sign while answering questions this really nice man had about the donor process.

Here's a little photo tour of what attending a live donor drive is like. Here Vicki approaches the greeting table where people receive their testing kit. That's Chuck Savadelis filming her for the PSA. Normally nobody will be creating a movie about you coming down to register. LOL

Step 1: The entire process takes about 10 minutes. A short registration form that is part of the kit needs to be filled out. Here is Deena filling in her form.

Step 2: A coordinator from the AADP will go over your registration form to make sure you are eligible to join the registry. John got the "OK" (and a sticker) to proceed to the next station.

Step 3: Using the mouth swabs takes less then a minute. All in all I heard people commenting they couldn't believe how easy it was to get registered.

I'd like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the people who came down and got registered yesterday to our fabulous volunteers, to Team Matthew, Elizabeth Williams and Roqua Montez at The Tech, and to the AADP for all of their help in making yesterday happen.

Hopefully we found a match for Tami or any one of the 6000 other Americans in need.


  1. Congratulations on a successful and fun marrow donor drive. There was a lot of excitement, which will continue to build. Fingers crossed that some of the donors will be a match.

  2. Hey Stacie,

    Congratulations on the great drive! It was a pleasure meeting you, and it was great to see all the various media outlets cover our efforts! I hope we'll continue to strengthen and expand the donor and volunteer network for all the folks in need!

  3. Hi Stacie,
    Hats off to you for managing this fantastic program so well. You're a great inspiration, and here's hoping the drive will save MANY lives. Keep us posted!