GWAR Signs Up Thousands Of Bone Marrow Donors After Guitarist’s Diagnosis

GWAR is a perfect example of a band using their platform for good after the shock-rockers signed up more than 3,000 fans for a bone marrow donor registry. The initiative came after the band’s guitarist, Michael Derks, shared in late October that he was diagnosed with a rare form of bone marrow cancer.

“If left to run its course, the doctors say I am most likely to only survive another 3 to 5 years,” Derks wrote. “There is a treatment with a chance of curing my condition, a bone marrow transplant. This procedure involves destroying my diseased bone marrow with high doses of chemotherapy, and then replacing it with healthy marrow from a donor.”

Derks said his search for a proper donor is ongoing and he would continue on with the band’s national tour, monitoring his condition at medical facilities around the country.

On the tour, GWAR revealed they would partner with “Love Hope Strength”, which works to build up the national bone marrow donor registry.

Their initiative was unlike anything “Love Hope Strength” had seen before, even after working with musicians like Ozzy Osbourne.

“They’re the Number 1 band we’ve had on our virtual drive,” Rob Rushing tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “We’ve partnered with Ozzy Osbourne, all kinds of bands, and GWAR right now has more people signed up for the virtual drive than anyone else by far.”

GWAR are asking fans to swab their cheeks for DNA so they can be added to the registry. The parameters to be a match are uniquely specific, and only 1 and 100 ever actually match and are eligible to become a donor.

GWAR has added about 3,000 people to the registry so far, more than anyone in the organizations online initiative.

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