Dozens of celebrities – including Gemma Chan, Aloe Blacc, Kurt Schneider, Chef Melissa King, Colleen Ballinger and more – are coming together to support Japanese American YouTuber and singer-songwriter Kina Grannis’ mother, Trish Grannis, as she searches for her life-saving blood stem cell donor.
Trish, or Mama G as she is lovingly called, was diagnosed with myelofibrosis in 2021, but her journey with blood cancer began long before when she was diagnosed with polycythemia vera, an incurable cancer, in the 2000. After years of experimentation with her medical team, Mama G found a treatment plan that seemingly eliminated all signs of the disease.
Unfortunately, following her more recent myelofibrosis diagnosis, she was informed that she needs a blood stem cell transplant to survive and partnered with DKMS, the world’s largest blood stem cell donor center, to locate a match.
Through the outpouring of support from a star-studded list of celebrities – Mama G’s son-in-law, Jesse Epstein, singer-songwriter of Imaginary Future, her three daughters and more – nearly 5,000 individuals have signed up as potential donors on Mama G’s behalf via DKMS’ virtual registration drive.
However, being of Japanese descent only makes her search that much more difficult, as those of diverse heritage are underrepresented in the donor pool and individuals are more likely to match with donors of the same background.
The online drive, which can be found at https://www.dkms.org/get-involved/virtual-drives/amatchformamag, has signed up 4,891 potential donors toward the goal of 5,000 as of Friday night. The message from the family reads as follows:
“Hi! Kina, Emi, and Misa Grannis here. Thanks for coming to help save our mom’s life. Here’s the deal: If you know our family, you know that our mom is an incredibly magical human. If you don’t know our family, trust us when we tell you that she brings light to everything and everyone she touches. Right now, she needs your help …
“1. Mama G has a bone marrow cancer called myelofibrosis.
“2. She needs a blood stem cell donor* as soon as possible to save her life.
“3. To see if you are her match, all you have to do is swab your cheeks with DKMS-provided swabs.
“4. Click the red REGISTER button to order your free swab kit and become our hero.
“Our mom is one of the best humans on Earth and her whole purpose in life is to spread joy wherever she goes. With your help, our hope is that she can keep spreading joy for many, many years to come …
“If you are outside of the U.S., please register with your local DKMS or other bone marrow registry as our search will be conducted worldwide. We have included some helpful links at the bottom of the page.
“Our mom is Japanese, so there is a higher probability her perfect match is also Japanese. Please help spread the word if you know others of Japanese descent.
“The likelihood of Asians and other people of color finding a match is significantly lower due to a lack of representation in the registry. Let’s change that!
“You can register if you’re between the ages of 18-55. If you fall outside of that range, please consider sharing with people of those ages.
“If you don’t match with Mama G, there’s still a chance you could match with someone else and save their life.
“You are amazing. You are awesome. Thank you times infinity.
“*Due to our mom’s specific condition, she needs a blood stem cell donor, not a bone marrow donor. It’s a different (and much simpler) donation process. Either way, all that’s required up front are cheek swabs.”
(Canada) https://www.blood.ca/en/stemcells or https://www.hema-quebec.qc.ca/cellules-souches/donneur/index.en.html
For all other countries, visit: https://swabtheworld.com/en/become-a-donor