Swabbing and Salsaing at Pachanga Latino Music Festival

Alex: 
On May 10th, I helped register potential bone marrow donors at an awesome event in Austin, TX called the Pachanga Latino Music Festival with a group called Love Hope Strength. If you don’t know about Love Hope Strength, they are a kick-ass organization that hosts bone marrow donor drives at concerts and festivals around the country. We are going to be working with them once we take off on the road in January, partnering together to register as many life-saving music fans as possible at different events all across the U.S. It was great volunteering with LHS at the Pachanga Fest and it was an amazing opportunity to reach the Hispanic and Latino communities. 

Since matches are based tissue type (DNA inherited from our ancestors), the best chance of finding a match is finding a donor of a similar race and ethnicity. Currently, only 9% of the 10 million people that are in the bone marrow donor registry are Hispanic or Latino, meaning that patients of Hispanic or Latino descent have a much harder time of finding a donor. We were able to register 71 potential donors at the Pachanga Fest, a majority of which were Hispanic or Latino! Muy bueno!  

And muchas gracias to my friend Lindsay for helping out! You are the best!

As you can probably tell, my Spanish is very limited (something which I am hoping to change before we take off in January). Luckily, our other Co-Founder, Taylor Shorten, is fluent in espanol! (Note to self: learn how to put ~ above letters…) With Taylor’s help, we hope to significantly increase the percentage of Hispanic and Latino donors on the registry on our journey, with a goal of making a HUGE increase in the odds for patients looking for a match. Si se puede! 

(Another note to self, don’t depend on Disney Channel original movies to teach you all the Spanish you know…)