A huge front-page story in today’s Denver Post features Love Hope Strength Foundation’s effort to sign up people to the bone marrow registry. The group hands out flyers as people drive into the parking lot of rock concerts (and other events) and then takes cheek swabs (later used to create an HLA profile) as they walk into the venue.

RobRushing

Rob Rushing of the Love Hope Strength Foundation at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Photo by Hyoung Chang for The Denver Post

I’m fascinated by the group’s motto of “Saving lives one concert at a time.” Here is an organization that has found a way to attract the young people who make the best bone marrow donors. It makes itself highly visible at rock concerts.

By doing so, Love Hope Strength generates publicity for its cause. Recruiting people at the event itself is very useful. But by doing it in a public venue it makes joining the registry a socially acceptable activity. And it does more. It generates interest in donating money and in becoming a volunteer. Finally, it educates the public about the important role adult stem cells play in fighting cancer and other diseases. Overall, this is a wonderful model to engage young adults in a healthcare related activity.

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