Pizza Emoji
by Brandon Butler
Pizza Emoji’s 1st Anniversary 8/31/2020

Today is the one year anniversary of Pizza Emoji!

And what a year it’s been. I didn’t set out to start a blog six months before a worldwide pandemic, but here we are. If you’ve been a reader, thanks for reading! If this is your first visit, add a bookmark and come back soon.

I’ve had a lot of fun writing Pizza Emoji, working on the site design, and improving my linux server administration skill set. I’m looking forward to the next year of Pizza Emoji, because there’s so much left to do, like getting the RSS feed working!

Incredibly, Pizza Emoji doesn’t ask for your money, doesn’t track you and sell your data, and doesn’t run ads. I’m not sure what kind of business model that is, but it doesn’t seem like a very good one from my end. Maybe someday I’ll find a way to make money from writing, but not today. So instead, I thought maybe I could ask something of my Pizza Emoji readers. I promise it won’t cost you a dime and it might save someone’s life.

I think everyone wants to be a superhero. Super powers are cool, and when I see Spider-Man swinging around New York City in the comics and movies, that just looks like the best thing ever. Spidey and Co. are also out there saving lives, but you don’t need to be bitten by a radioactive spider to be a life saving super hero.

Every three minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer, and every ten minutes, someone dies from a blood cancer. For many people with leukemia and lymphoma, getting a bone marrow donation from a compatible donor is their only cure.

Today, donating bone marrow is nearly painless, and the vast majority of donations are actually peripheral blood stem cells, which are donated by IV. The donor’s blood is pumped out one arm, passes through a machine that filters out the blood-forming cells, then pumps the blood back into the other arm. For actual surgical bone marrow donation, it’s a quick out-patient procedure that may leave a little bruising for a few days. But the biggest issue is finding a donor: if the donor’s family members aren’t a compatible match, doctor’s turn to “the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world,” Be the Match.

Be the Match works to find compatible bone marrow donors for patients diagnosed with life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. By becoming a donor, you’re literally saving someone’s life.

And like I said, there’s no cost to you: Be the Match pays for travel to the hospital, meals, and even a hotel if you need to travel out of town. But the absolute best part? That’s the life saving. Because if you are called to donate, it means you were matched with somebody suffering from a terrible illness. And all you have to do is give a little marrow to save their life. You know, super hero stuff.

If you’ve never signed up for Be the Match, it’s free and easy: they’ll send you a little swab kit, you swab your mouth, send it back, and they’ll do the rest. If you match with someone, they’ll let you know. They especially need people of color, so please consider signing up, and getting your friends and family to sign up, too. And should you ever decide to leave the registry, it’s an easy opt-out process.

And remember, the actual donation, should you be called, is nearly painless and often involves a few hours hooked up to an IV.

Even if you can’t donate marrow for whatever reason, but you’ve got some money, consider a financial donation. You’re still a hero in my comic book.

I signed up for Be the Match about a decade ago; I’ve never been called to donate marrow, but I’ve donated financially. And this isn’t one of those paid posts: I just wanted Pizza Emoji’s first anniversary to be a little special, and what’s more special than saving someone’s life?

I know, there are so many charities that need your help, but this is one of the few charities that you can make a donation to without spending a cent. Thousands of people of all ages, children, teenagers, and adults, are searching the registry everyday in the hope of finding a match. You could Be the Match they need to save their life.

Thanks for reading.