Wed, Dec 21|
Bob and Barbara's
Help Dito aka Martha Graham Cracker Find a Donor Match
Dito/Martha has been diagnosed with leukemia and needs your help.
Time & Location
Dec 21, 2022, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST
Bob and Barbara's, 1509 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146, USA
About the Event
Our dear friend Dito van Reigersberg -- you might know him for his groundbreaking work with the renowned Pig Iron Theatre Company or as beloved Philadelphia drag queen Martha Graham Cracker -- has been diagnosed with leukemia and is undergoing treatment. His best chance for a cure is a peripheral blood stem cell transplant - a type of non-invasive bone marrow transplant - which means finding a donor match as soon as possible.
So on Wednesday, December 21st from 5-8pm, we will come together at Bob & Barbara's Jazz Lounge for this important cause. There will be live music with Glitter & Garbage, PJ Brown, Mr. Johnny Showcase and some other musical friends of Martha, a playlist curated by Dito himself, drink specials, and a chance to catch up with old friends. There is no cover.
But more importantly, this will be an opportunity for anybody 18-40 years old (the required age range, and there will be a station outside the bar for those under 21) to get swabbed to see if they are a potential match for Dito or for someone else needing a donor.
You're over 40? No problem. Come say hi and bring friends under 40.
You can't make it that night? Don't live in Philly? No worries. Text the code SWAB4MARTHA to 61474 and the national registry Be the Match will send you an at-home swab kit. Even if you aren't a match for Dito, you may be a match for somebody else and could give them a new lease on life.
You can also use this link to register for an at-home swab kit: https://my.bethematch.org/Swab4Martha
But it's important to note that you should NOT register online if you are planning to come to the event to get swabbed, because the team will be unable to swab you if you have already registered using the text-to-swab or the link.
If you're interested in making a financial contribution to the cause, Dito asks that you direct your funds to Be the Match, the organization handling this donor drive. Learn more about making a donation here: https://bethematch.org/support-the-cause/donate-financially/
More details on becoming a part of the bone marrow registry can be found on the Be the Match website https://my.bethematch.org/Swab4Martha but here are a few highlights:
- Joining the registry and swabbing your cheek means that you would be available for anyone who needs you (including Dito if you match to him). Your likelihood to donate includes two important factors - your age and your ancestry. They can't predict an individual's likelihood to be matched, but you could be the only person who could save someone's life. (More info - https://bethematch.org/.../likelihood-you-will-donate/.)
- The process is a quick one - you fill out a short medical history to determine if you are a fit to become a possible donor, then you swab your cheek, and finally you then wait to see if you are matched. As for that age cutoff of 40, research shows that younger donors provide the greatest chance for transplant success.
- Unlike for general blood donation, gay and bisexual men ARE welcome to become a part of the registry.
- 85% of the time, doctors ask for a peripheral blood stem cell donation, which is a non surgical process similar to donating plasma.
- All costs associated with donating are covered including any medical costs, travel, food, time missed from work, cat sitters, etc...
Read more myths and facts about bone marrow donation here - https://bethematch.org/.../myths-and-facts-about-bone.../