You Can Save a Life



Sun May 10, 2009 at 05:48:35 PM PDT

Dr. Don McCanne is a tireless worker on behalf of fundamental health care reform.

He is a retired physician who now devotes himself full time to fighting for change.

Dr. McCanne is passionate in his beliefs, yet he is a serious listener and believes that certain protocols must be observed in debate and in using our modern technological resources to further discussion.

So I was at first surprised Saturday evening to find that he had violated email protocol in a missive he sent to his extensive listserve.

On the other hand----

Dr. McCanne is a physician, a professional who knows that when a patient needs emergency attention, it his duty to act.  That is why he sent the following letter:

To Quote of the Day list members

In forwarding the following message to you, I am violating the ethics and protocols of list management. I have never done that before, and I will never do it again. If Dr. Margaret Flowers and her friends could violate the law for the benefit of everyone, I decided that I could commit this single infraction in an effort to benefit Natasha and others who face her same challenges. After you read this message, you may also decide that this should be forwarded to others, even if it is a once-in-a-decade violation of email protocol.

Don McCanne

What followed speaks for itself.  I will only modify it by highlighting links within the text to allow Kossacks to learn more and to explore ways in which they may help.

Xuejing Chen <>
to Don McCanne <>
date Wed, May 6, 2009 at 2:34 PM
subject Yale Medical Student in Need - story to send to your readership

Hi Dr McCanne -

I'm a first-year Yale medical student and a subscriber of your quote-of-the-day, which I enjoy very much.  I am writing on behalf of my friend and classmate Natasha Collins, who recently relapsed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia and needs to find a bone marrow match in order to live.  Natasha is half African-American and half Caucasian making her a molecular minority and at severe disadvantage at finding a match in the National Marrow Donor Program Registry due to the small number of minority registrants.  80% of Caucasians find matches through the NMDP but only 30% of minorities find matches.

The first-year students at the Yale School of Medicine are working to raise awareness on the importance and simplicity of being a bone marrow donor.  I am wondering if you think it might be appropriate to send out  Natasha's story and the issues surrounding bone marrow donations to your readership as a means to encourage people across the nation to register.  We hope to perpetuate a national message and call to action to address the national health disparity behind bone marrow transplants.  

For more information on Natasha and bone marrow donation, please visit the website that we have set up at  I am also able to send you an abridged sample email that you can adapt to send out to your readership.

I would appreciate any and all help and recommendations from you on raising awareness and increasing registration.  Please feel free to email me at or call at 412.606.6457.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

All the best,

Xuejing Chen
Yale School of Medicine, Class of 2012

save a life -

You can help Natasha by following this link: It is incredibly easy to add your DNA to the "library" which could save Natasha's, and others', lives

UPDATE: There has been a meaningful update added this AM regarding the details of bone marrow transplantation.  It turns out it's not even particularly painful when it's actually done!!

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people don't mind when they get a message that is off topic from a lists purpose.