GWAR Sign Up Thousands of Bone Marrow Donors to Help Guitarist
Horrible news spread earlier this fall when it was revealed GWAR guitarist Michael Derks, also known as "BälSäc The Jaws ‘O Death," was diagnosed with myelofibrosis, which is a variation of bone marrow leukemia. At this point in his disease, his best chance at treatment is in seeking a bone marrow donor, and fans have stepped up to the plate to help.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Love Hope Strength signed up over 3,000 GWAR fans to the national bone registry on their current tour. “They’re the No. 1 band we’ve had on our virtual drive,” said Rob Rushing, Love Hope Strength’s national tour manager. “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.”
Despite his search for a matching donor, Derks is continuing to tour with the group, using labs across the country to monitor the state of his blood. He told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that he would likely return to Richmond for a blood transfusion.
Hopefully out of the 3,000 a matching donor will be found. Because so few people have registered as bone marrow donors, it's harder to find a correct match. Fans going to upcoming GWAR shows can register, where cheek swabs can be taken to upload into a database at the National Bone Marrow Registry. Fans will get a call if they are a match for someone in need.
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