(via mental_floss) I once filled out an application and did some mouth swabbings at a stand in the mall to see if I was a match for anyone who needed a bone marrow transplant. I'm probably not, being an XY-chromosomal descendant of Caucasian genetic lines, but I felt it was worth a shot, and it seemed like the right thing to do.
Fortunately, it might be getting even easier to put yourself out there as that kind of donor. Graham Douglass, an advertiser whose brother beat leukemia thanks to a bone marrow transplant, has come up with a brilliant way to encourage people to get their genetic information into the registry: put a testing kit in band-aid boxes.
When someone you cuts their finger and goes hunting for a Band-Aid, they can just dab some of the blood on a Q-tip-like swab, drop it in an envelope already included in the kit, and put it in the mail to the lab. Just like that, they’re in the registry and might have the opportunity to save a life.
“I wanted to make it as fucking simple as possible to do something good,” he says. “I think a lot of people hear bone marrow donation and they think it’s going to be torture and that’s just not the case.”
Douglass, instead of trying to encourage some big pharmaceutical company to patent it and give him a cut, did the better thing and spammed the idea at companies for free. It got picked up by a small, minimalistic start-up called help Remedies, who now put marrow testing kits in their bandage product, help, I've cut myself.