Be The Match Donor Drive

Hey folks,

One of our students, Melissa Jo Kyo Nim, got a bone marrow transplant this June as treatment (and cure!) for Fanconi Anemia and Common Variable Immunodeficiency. Melissa JKN, her husband Eric Dahn Bo Nim, and her two kids, Dylan JKN and Kailey JKN, have been important and supportive members of our school for years (as you might have guessed by the sheer number of black belts they have earned/are earning as a family!).

You probably already know this about me, but as much as I love to think and talk and ponder and share, I believe that real good and real value come from actions. What we DO is more important than what we feel or think or say. Yeah, yeah, I want you to say and feel nice things, but I’m way more interested in you, me, and all of us DOING GOOD THINGS.

So let’s do something good. For Melissa JKN. For my friend Jen’s son Eamon (who will need a bone marrow transplant as an adult). For every person in the world who can be helped, who can live, because someone out there was willing to donate bone marrow.

Monday, September 19, 2016 from 5-8pm, we’re partnering with Be The Match and hosting a Donor Drive at our dojang. Anyone 18-44 years old is a potential donor, and you can get yourself into that database of potential donors by giving a small sample of cells (via a q-tip rubbing from inside your cheek) and filling out a form. Maybe 5 minutes of your time. And, maybe, down the road, you get contacted because your bone marrow is a great match for someone in need, and you say heck yeah, I’m in. Take the marrow you need, ’cause I got it to spare. (Or something like that. Probably you’ll be more professional and less braggy.)

Please plan to join us. Please share the information with everyone you know. Please specifically reach out to a diverse population — one of the challenges of bone marrow transplant is that a fairly narrow slice of the world’s population is in the database, and in order to get good matches for a diverse world, we need an equally diverse population of potential donors. If you want to participate but can’t be there in person, I’ll post a link to a Be The Match web page specifically for this event that tells you how to get involved from the comfort of your own home.

Thanks, y’all. You’re the best.

Shil Jahng Nim

P.S. Melissa JKN is doing well. She’s still in the first 100 days post-transplant, so she’s being super careful with herself and getting a lot of care and checks from her doctors and loved ones. But she is healing well, and we hope someday to have her back in our classes, kicking butt and taking names again (see picture at top of post).

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