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Bone Marrow for Emru

Emru Townsend

Animation writer and critic Emru Townsend was diagnosed last December with leukemia and a condition called monosomy 7. He is in need of finding a bone marrow donor match soon. While donors can’t specify who they want to donate too, Emru’s family has started a website HealEmru.com that offers information on bone marrow donation and teaches adults how to sign up for their country’s bone marrow registry.

For those who aren’t familiar with Emru’s work, he founded Frames Per Second Magazine in 1991 and has continued its publication in one form or another up through today at FPSmagazine.com. As a fellow publisher, I can say that nobody publishes an animation-related magazine to get rich; we do it because we love the art form, and Emru has for decades been one of animation’s best friends and most intelligent critics. Both Jerry and I wish him a speedy recovery.

  • Altred Ego


    All the best for a speedy recovery.

  • Chuck R.

    Thanks for this post, Amid!

    I’ve been a blood donor since High School and through my local blood center, I’ve joined the National Marrow Donor Program. I’m still waiting for that all-important call. The chances of my being a match for Emru is slim at best, but there are hundreds of others equally deserving. The more people that are registered, the more hope there is for all those in dire need. Here’s the website for the NMDP:


    If you get registered at a blood donor center, consider becoming a regular donor. You can take part in saving many many lives.

  • Emilie

    I am completely shocked. I had the pleasure to attend a few events organized by FPS magazine here in Montreal. It was a terrific experience. All my positive thoughts go to this wonderful man.

  • All the best to Emru and hope he finds a match as soon as possible.

  • Just checked the weight/height restrictions on the Canadian Bone Marrow registry…no dice. F**k. Everybody who can, get on yer registry and sign up. Meanwhile, Emru, anything else you need, give me the call, man.

  • Those of use who have blogs can and should be able to spread the word.

    Although I’ve never met Emru, he’s been an online acquaintance since about 1989 or 1990, when he and Harry McCracken were running the BIX (an old online service you may or may not remember) animation conference. One of the greatest places for animation discussion at the time. I’ll gladly put the news on my blog, and hopefully someone will see it and act upon it in a positive way.

    Emru, our prayers are with you.

  • Thanks, Amid. I’m grateful.

    When a family member is sick, people want to quietly spend time with their families and support one another. This is not an option for us, nor is it for Emru, who is not taking this lying down and fighting every inch of the way.

    TempleDog has the right idea. Whether you register (I hope you do) or not, tell everyone you can about the facts of getting on the registry and the donation process. It only takes a cheek swab (US, most of Canada) or a blood sample (Quebec, France, UK) to get typed. It doesn’t matter where you live. You could help someone in a completely different country with your gift.

    Emru is self-reliant and likes to do things himself, but this one is going to take everybody’s help. I’m grateful for the Brewmasters’ appeal.

    If any of you have questions about this, you can contact me directly at tamu At videotron DOT ca.

  • Hey you guys, registering is super fast and easy in the US. It consists of filling out a questionnaire, signing the agreement to be on the registry (that is until you let them know you don’t want to be in the registry anymore) and then swabbing your mouth with 4 swabs.

    If you feel like you need to do some thinking about the responsibility of registering, just ask to take the registration form and swabs home–you can mail it later (just make sure that you do it as soon as possible).

    We contacted the National Marrow Donor Program and found out that individuals can just attend an already scheduled drive to avoid paying any registration fees.

    It’s also possible to set up a specific drive, but the sponsor would be responsible for the registration fee ($45/ea), venue costs and any marketing involved.

    We posted February drive information on our blog for Seattle, SF, LA, and NYC: http://plexipixel.com/blog/bone-marrow-drive-for-emru-townsend/. I’ll make sure to update it for March/April tonight. Otherwise just go straight to: http://www.marrow.org/HELP/Join_the_Donor_Registry/Join_in_Person/index.html to do a local search.

    Tell everyone you can to register!

  • Paul N

    Emru is a class act all the way. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

  • Matt Sullivan

    Wish I could help ( can’t being white and all ) We really should consider every animator an extension of our own family ( it IS a small group after all..everyone knows everyone practically )

    Hope he gets well, and soon.

  • Chuck R.

    “Wish I could help ( can’t being white and all )”

    Matt, you CAN help. You may not be a match in this specific case (Emru’s best bet is a family member) But animators and writers aren’t the only ones who deserve help. I think everyone should consider registering and hope/pray that someone with the right stuff who’s never heard of Emru is doing the same in some other corner of the world.

    I’m not discounting the wonderful show of support, thoughts and prayers. Kudos to all who have blogs and are spreading the word.

    Remember, whenever you donate blood, there’s a very good chance it will help save a life.

  • Hey, Matt what Chuck R. said is correct, except in this case as Emru’s family member is not a match (that would be me). While the most likely match will be within his ethnic background, it is not the deal breaker. He could be compatible with someone Caucasian. Even though it is far, far less likely, it is not impossible.

    As mentioned above, you could help someone you are more likely to match with your gift if you add yourself to the registry actually get picked to be a match.

    Giving blood is very important, as well. Although when you donate blood you are not automatically on the list to donate marrow. n fact in the US, it is not usually done as a blood draw anymore but as a cheek swab that you can do it home.

  • Readers who are interested in helping out here might want to look into Gift of Life (http://www.giftoflife.org/), a bone marrow registry that’s doing a lot to recruit minority donors. They also make it easy to spread the word via social media and blogging — so it’s a great way to contribute even if you don’t donate directly.