Amit Gupta is rich— in social media connections that is. But when the Web entrepreneur was diagnosed with leukemia last fall, these connections were his last hope to find a donor. Could that wealth buy him back his health?
Turns out it can.
“You all literally helped save my life. (And the lives of many others,)” Gupta wrote.
Since October, Gupta, his friends, and his colleagues have spurred on a social media campaign that urged people to join the National Marrow Donor Program. His plight attracted supporters like actor Aziz Ansari and even inspired an art exhibit, Skewed Demographics, which sheds light on leukemia’s racial health disparity.
After being diagnosed with leukemia, Gupta’s biggest hurdle became his race. For South Asians, the odds are only 1 in 20,000 that they will find a match, according to the American Bone Marrow Donor Registry.
Gupta’s unique position as a social media celebrity helped him beat those odds. And, it helped him help and many other leukemia patients beat the odds; his campaign encouraged one hundred different donor drives to register bone marrow donors, according to his blog post.
However, this is just the beginning of the long road to recovery for Gupta. He’ll spend the next four to five weeks in the hospital, receiving chemotherapy and stem cells from his donor. He wrote that his chance of surviving through the next five years are about 50 percent.
“I’ve got a long road ahead,” Gupta wrote. “But I’ve got a donor & amazing family & friends. A few months ago I didn’t have many options. Today I have a plan.”