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California Man Uses Social Media To Find Bone Marrow Donor

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV
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Amit Gupta.

Amit Gupta.

WBZ-TV's Christina Hager Christina Hager
Award-winning reporter Christina Hager works as a general assignmen...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Amit Gupta says social media helped save his life.

The 32-year-old San Francisco Internet entrepreneur spoke with WBZ-TV Wednesday from his room at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“It’s kind of amazing that this came together the way it did,” says Gupta.

“I can’t imagine this happening without Twitter or Facebook or Tumblr. It just wouldn’t have been possible to meet so many people so quickly.”

Gupta was diagnosed with Leukemia in September.

To live, he needed a bone marrow transplant. Since he’s Indian-American, he says his chances of finding the perfect match he needed were slim, some estimate one in 20,000.

He turned to social media to get the word out, and his friends in the tech industry even raised a $30,000 reward for a match.

It worked.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager Reports

“I had my transplant about a week and a half ago, and right now I’m waiting for the cells to get to my marrow and start producing blood, so that should happen soon,” says Gupta.

His search for a match inspired some 10,000 new potential bone marrow donors to register.

“We don’t get a chance to be heroes in our everyday life. We’re not firemen. We don’t get to run to a burning building, and pull someone out and save their life, but these individuals who are willing to donate their stem cells for blood or marrow, are just like firemen,” says Dr. Robert Soiffer, who specializes in blood cancers at the Dana Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center.

If you’re interested, you can find out how to register at the National Marrow Donor Registry.

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