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This diary is only obliquely political, in that it speaks in general to the reality that adequate and affordable health care - an issue being debated right now in our Senate - is not a luxury, or an extreme political position.

Today, I got an email from Seun Adebiyi.

He has leukemia.  He needs a bone marrow transplant to save his life.

He doesn't want your money.

He wants to see if you can save his life by being a bone marrow match.

I don't know Sean.

I read about him in the New York Times on November 27, in an article about the break room at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

For weeks, one of the odder sights had been the genial young man, usually connected to the IV pole he had nicknamed Bertha, on the terrace doing the regimen he devised: 1,000 jumping jacks, 250 push-ups, 500 situps, 400 lunges. He was training to represent Nigeria in the Olympics in the skeleton, a sledding event.

He was aiming for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Nigeria has never sent anyone to the Winter Games in the skeleton. Nigeria has never sent anyone to the Winter Games in anything. And he had never tried the skeleton.

The man’s name is Seun Adebiyi. He is 26. Born in Nigeria, he moved to Alabama with his mother, a math professor, when he was 6. In May, he graduated from Yale Law School. He is on leave from his job as an operations analyst with Goldman Sachs in Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City happens to be one of two places in the country with a facility to practice skeleton. You lie on your stomach and ride the sled at absurd speeds down a twisting course.

I looked up his website.

I thought "Man, this guy is BRAVE!"

I don't want cancer to get him.

So I wrote to him.

Today he sent me an email video.

One look, and you will want to save Seun's life, too.

I care about these stories because my own family has been visited by cancer.

Seun is 26 years old - the age-range of many Kossacks.

He's training for the Olympics, even while he's in chemotherapy, waiting for a match.

He is African by birth, and like African Americans, he has a 17% chance of finding a match.

He is an exceptional man in many regards.

I want you to do what you know how to do.  I want you to take action.  You CAN make a difference.  You can do something important today.

Contact Seun at or visit

Register as a bone marrow donor so that more people like Seun can find a match.

Seun needs volunteers for the bone marrow drive in New York City in January.  Details about that are on his website (linked above).

This is one case where you can make a direct impact upon another's life.

Yes, you can.

Let's show these politicians how it gets done!

Originally posted to Patricia Taylor on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:57 PM PST.

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