Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Go Get Swabbed - Be a Bone Marrow Donor

If you are in the DC area, please consider a few minutes out of your busy day to support this cause.

Dear Friends,

Please consider signing up as a bone marrow donor on Saturday.  It is as simple as filling out a form and having the inside of your cheek swabbed with a Q-tip!  This Sat., Oct. 17, 2009, from 9am-12pm , we will be holding a bone marrow donor drive at Key School ( 2300 Key Blvd. , Arlington click here for a map) in connection with the Family Fun Day and “MasonMile” Fun Run/Walk held at the school that day.  The bone marrow donor drive is organized in partnership with DKMS, the world’s largest bone marrow donor center.

With the drive we hope to raise awareness about the need for bone marrow donors, and to register people to potentially help others in need, like Marquis (see attached photo).  Marquis is a 14 year old sickle cell patient living in our area who, due to his condition diagnosed at birth, has had chronic issues with pain and damage to his internal organs. He has had three strokes, has been hospitalized 25 times for acute chest syndrome which leaves him unable to breathe and has endured over 100 hospitalizations for pneumonia.  Because his type of sickle cell disease is life threatening, he is in need of a bone marrow transplant, as it is in the bone marrow where either healthy cells or sickled cells are initially formed.  Marquis has been on the transplant waitlist since April but still no match has been found for him.

If the proper match can be found, Marquis will have a chance to live.  However, it is very difficult to find exact matches for those in need, particularly for people of African American or Hispanic descent, mostly because the pool of donors is not large enough.  At this time, only 3 out of 10 patients will ever find a match.  We need more people to register as bone marrow donors so that kids like Marquis and others have access to as many potential matches as possible.  Just imagine that the simple act of signing up for this bone marrow drive might save someone’s life!

Our goal is to recruit as many new bone marrow donors as possible in order to give hope to more patients around the world in need of a bone marrow transplant.  Click here to understand your commitment and find out if you are eligible to register.

Please forward this email today to everyone you know - your colleagues, friends and family - and encourage them to attend the event and register as a bone marrow donor.

DKMS is a non-profit organization with the goal of promoting bone marrow donations for the National Bone Marrow Registry and matching these with people in need.  Through the generosity of donors, DKMS is able to finance the $65 fee to cover the costs of processing the tissue type of each donor and preparing it for the National Registry.  Registering to be a bone marrow donor on Oct. 17th is free thanks to the support of DKMS, but donations are always greatly appreciated.  Every dollar counts, and 100% of your donation will be used to register donors and add them to the National Registry.

I hope that I'll see you at Key School this Saturday, Oct. 17th, and help kids like Marquis get a second chance at life.  For more information, please visit

Thank you,

Adrienne Connolly

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Half the Sky

I heard about this book, Half the Sky, on Oprah recently, and just bought it last night. Even though I haven't finished it yet, I believe this is a cause we all MUST care about and TAKE ACTION. Women and girls can have a huge impact on our world, as you already know, but are being repressed in so many horrible ways worldwide. Let's talk together about how people like you and me can make a difference. I promise to write more as I read explore the book and the movement. For now...

The words that follow are from

Come, share your passion to raise the status of women and help end global poverty. One way to start is to read "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide." It is a new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and it will move you, just as it horrifies you.

But don't take just my word for it. Let me tell you what others have said of it.

Melinda Gates called it: "Both a brutal awakening and an unmistakable call to action, this book should be read by all."

Tom Brokaw said: "This is a book that will pierce your heart and arouse your conscience. It is a powerful piece of journalism by two masters of the craft who are tireless in their pursuit of one of the most shameful conditions of our time."

Angelina Jolie said: "For female readers it gives a new sense of what it is to be a woman. For husbands sons and fathers, it will infuriate and astound you. You will not want to put it down."

George Clooney, Fareed Zakaria, Greg Mortenson, Anne Rice and Khaled Hosseini also gave praise, but I'll let you see for yourself.

Kristof and WuDunn are master storytellers. Through the stories they tell of women around the world, they help us see that the key to economic progress lies in tapping the potential of half the developing world's resources: women. It turns out the best way to fight poverty and extremism is to educate and empower women and girls!

With "Half the Sky," Kristof and WuDunn are sparking a movement. Please read it, join my hand and join this new movement.

Go to:

Hopeful and inspired,