Rihanna and Cindy Crawford are at the forefront of helping Baby Giovanni and others like him who are in desperate need for bone marrow transplants in order to survive.
Baby G, is he is affectionately called, is one of a cast of thousands that could benefit from more Americans donating bone marrow and involving themselves in the cause.
Crawford was recently honored at a May 7 gala that raised $1.18 million dollars which allowed DKMS to solicit over 12,000 new marrow donors. DKMS is the world’s largest center for connecting patients with donors.
When Music superstar Rihanna first became aware of the New York mother of two who, unfortunately like many out there, desperately needed a bone marrow transplant to save her life. Rihanna immediately contacted DKMS and connected them with her charity, Believe, and a campaign to save Lisa Gershowitz Flynn and others had begun.
In interviews across the globe, Rihanna has used her celebrity to not only aide Flynn, but the vast landscape of patients still out there in need of the hope of a transplant.
Cindy and Rihanna are just the beginning of the famous shining their famous light on the cause of bone marrow donation and awareness. Thus far, DKMS has 1.6 million registered donors that have aided over 14,000 patients, but there is still a mountain to climb.
In trying to bring attention to the need for bone marrow needs across cultural and racial lines, Jennifer Lopez has reached out in the Hispanic community urging people to donate their time, money and bone marrow.
Lopez led a February bone marrow drive in New York City for 29-year-old Janet Ovalles, who is suffering from blood cancer. Her only chance is a marrow transplant. In a statement released by DKMS, Lopez said, “I am a young Hispanic woman, so is Janet. I could empathize with her situation so much.”
Following her brother Garrett’s death from aplastic anemia, former US soccer superstar Mia Hamm and her husband, professional baseball player Nomar Garciaparra, went into overdrive rallying their celebrity neighbors in Los Angeles to support her Mia Hamm Foundation.
The organization is dedicated solely to the raising of funds to help bone marrow donation awareness and to save lives that can be saved like her brother’s. “I understand the pain of bone marrow disease first hand,” said Hamm on her website.
“You change a family’s life, not just the recipient’s, but the entire family’s life, forever,” she continued. “You change that despair and struggle they’ve had, and give them an opportunity for hope.”
She has enlisted the regular support of Heroes star Milo Ventimiglia, film actress Elizabeth Shue and Extreme Makeover’s Ty Pennington, and Rivers Cuomo of the band Weezer, to name a few.
Sports stars like Mia Hamm and Jeff Gordon have also joined the effort.
Many have recorded PSAs soliciting support. Race car driver Jeff Gordon is on the board of directors of the The Marrow Foundation and is active in their efforts.
Mia’s annual fundraisers raise millions a year.
Rapper Nelly lost his sister in 2005 to Leukemia after a two-year search for a bone marrow donor.
The organization he launched to fund and find marrow donations, Jes Us 4 Jackie, still exists and continues the effort to alleviate the dire need for bone marrow donations and awareness.
The hip hop superstar has given concerts and spoken across the country to raise awareness and funds for bone marrow work.
Never deterred, Nelly has campaigned as intensely for bone marrow research as he has to make it to the top of the entertainment industry.
Across the Pacific pond in the land Down Under, X-Men star Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, work continually with their country’s Bone Marrow Donor Institute.
Integral to the institute’s success, the couple have chaired a half-dozen functions and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Jackman is also no stranger to Hollywood celebrity fundraisers not to mention the Broadway Cares work he did in New York while on the Great White Way.
The actor will be seen in the upcoming X: Men prequel, Wolverine next summer, but his presence on the fundraising scene is always present.
Here’s Hugh and his wife cutting a cake celebrating the Bone Marrow Donor Institute’s third birthday (photo at left)!
SheKnows and the bone marrow registry
Do not miss SheKnows bone marrow awareness campaign with DKMS and Giovanni’s Friends to raise the Bone Marrow registry by 50,000 individuals. Click here for details.