Recently, Shannon Tavarez, one of the young stars of The Lion King on Broadway, passed away after a battle with leukemia. She was 11-years-old. It was another example of a tragedy that is likely happening all the time, every day. But the struggle to find Shannon a bone marrow match again brought to light the under-representation of people of color in bone marrow registries, like DKMS. And it was inspiring to seeĀ  folks like Tony Yayo, 50 Cent, Alicia Keys and others take up that cause. (Just as Nelly did before his sister succumbed to leukemia in 2005)

Now Freekey Zekey is acting as the hip hop spokesman for bone marrow organization Preserving Our Legacy and addressing the NYC Council -Committee on Health today. And in this video, he also helps debunk the process of joining a bone marrow registry. While anything bone marrow-related makes my spine tingle, I didn’t know that registering only involves a painless mouth swab. Now if you’re a match and agree to donate, then the process does involve an out-patient procedure, that can be done with general anesthesia (aka: lights out), no stitches, no immune-system weakness, and, yes, soreness that may last a few weeks.
Big up to Zekey for helping us learn about the need and the process.