News Roundup #9: National Kidney Day, Black blood donor follow up, bone marrow heroism

Hello there newshounds! We’ve got another roundup with plenty for you to sniff at.

National Kidney Month in U.S. is March, and World Kidney Day was March 8

And we have some related links, since kidney health is directly related to transplantation.

Here’s the National Kidney Foundation World Kidney Day page.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have a World Kidney Day feature page.

Free kidney health screenings all around the U.S.

And in celeb news, Nick Cannon appeared on CNN to talk about his struggles with kidney disease, and to promote his documentary on it entitled “The Incredible Health Hustle.” He also aimed to bring attention to World Kidney Day.

You can be a hero to a hero

That’s what a banner for Firefighter Aid at the drive in San Diego read. The drive was held for Arsenio Ortanez, a San Diego, California firefighter, who has now found a potential donor.

Ortanez, a Filipino American, received his award for 20 years of service. And as some coverage highlighted,

A bone marrow drive was organized for Ortanez. Bone marrow is often matched by ethnicity and only 7 percent of donors are Asian.

And a Colorado soldier, Mark Jenkins has also struggled to find a donor, with a report noting that African American heritage makes the search more difficult

The problem may be the donor pool. People with diverse racial or ethnic heritage make up just 28 percent of the “Be The Match Registry” with African-Americans making up just seven percent.

“So basically if you’re African-American and you’re looking for a match it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack,” Jessica Maitland with the Bonfils Blood Center said.

I am very interested in the hero motif that is used in outreach campaigns with both donors and patients being heroes. Especially when heroism is coded as service as a first responder or soldier. When did hero become a popular refrain in encouraging people to register as donors? Why is it such a powerful motif? But also, what are the dangers of considering donation heroic? Does it valorize the act of donation in such a way that might obstruct the reasons that declining to sign up may have validity?

NHS and the cancerous kidneys transplanted

Unfortunate news from the UK.

More coverage here.

Lahore, Pakistan: the site of the first independent Pakistani liver transplant

Doctors at the Shaikh Zayed Hospital recently performed live liver transplants, and have plans for the future to up cadaveric organ donation rates in the country.

Black blood blitz

And more coverage on black blood donor campaign in Illinois from BET and HuffPo. The BET reportage is , from the headline, “America wants your blood, black people” to the linkage to a striking image of fistfuls of cash.  Thus the sensationalism and flash is a bit more than most donor recruitment campaigns see. But maybe it’s the kind of style that will catch people’s attention in ways more conventional outreach rhetoric might not. Given BET’s angle as an entertainment company, it’s certainly in keeping with the brand.

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    1. […] only relates to treating the wounded, but it also pertains to military notions of service. In fact, the ways that we have honored first responders and servicemen (and women) as heroes at the same time we have valorized donation as an act of heroism, directly links to this. Right up […]



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