Three people in my life have been affected by blood cancers: my Aunt Joyce, my young friend Logan whom I worked with at Radio Disney, and my maternal Grandmother. Blood Cancer claimed two of their lives.

I watched as my Aunt Joyce lost weight and grew frail. I was by her side when she lost her ability to speak, lost her control of life, and took her last breaths. It was devastating. I miss her constantly. My Aunt Joyce was an incredible woman. She lived in Chicago most of her life and held a deep love for the city. It’s something that she and I shared with tremendous passion. As I passed my one year mark of living in Chicago, and my three-month mark of living in the city, I think of how proud she would have been of me. It breaks my heart that she’s not here to share the celebrations and milestones with me.

Then, as luck would have it, I sat down next to the Executive Director of Love, Hope, Strength one day at lunch. We started chatting and she shared the mission of the non-profit she works with:

Love Hope Strength (LHS) is now firmly established as the world’s leading rock and roll cancer foundation. The organization was created in 2007, registered as a charity in 2008, and co-founded by Mike Peters and James Chippendale. Mike is a 3-time cancer survivor and an internationally acclaimed singer for the Welsh rock band The Alarm. James, a fellow cancer survivor, is a respected insurance executive specializing in the music industry. Together they had the vision that LHS could literally, “Save lives, one concert at a time!”

Since 2008 we have been hosting marrow donor drives at concerts and festivals across the globe via our Get on the List campaign. This program encourages people to sign up for the International Bone Marrow Registry via a simple cheek swab, taking our concept of, “saving lives, one concert at a time,” to a whole new level.

Working with our amazing programmatic partners at DKMS and hundreds of incredible volunteers, we have been able to add over 150,000 music fans to the registry and found over 3,000 potentially lifesaving matches, giving hope to those who would otherwise be denied the chance of life as they navigate through blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma.

A few weeks later, I flew to Denver and we worked out a plan for me to help the cause. I swabbed to get on the list so that if I’m a match for someone who needs a bone marrow donation, I can give. Which, I truly hope one day I’ll be able to help. In the mean time, I am volunteering my time through my social media agency, Betsy Bash, to help provide a social media strategy and postings for the US side of LHS.

I’m thrilled to be able to help, provide support and be on the list. Want to join me? Sign up here!

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