In 2005, singer/songwriter Andrew McMahon was about to start his first US headlining tour with his band, Jack’s Mannequin. Towards the middle of the tour, Andrew began feeling ill. Shortly after, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. After going through multiple rounds of Chemotherapy and a successful stem cell transplant, Andrew is now living cancer free. Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky as he was. Andrew’s donor was his sister, but there are currently over 30,000 people living in the U.S. who are in need of a bone marrow match. Andrew created the Dear Jack Foundation to advocate for initiatives that benefit adolescents and young adults with cancer.
Andrew is one of my favorite artists. I fell in love with his debut album over a year ago and got to see him for the first time back in October on the Wilderness Politics tour. Concerts usually consist of waiting in line for merchandise or buying food, but this concert was different. Andrew had actually arranged for the LoveHopeStrength Foundation to come to the concert and set up a table. The LoveHopeStrength Foundation allows people to join the registry for marrow donors. All you need to do is get your cheek swabbed and leave your contact information with the foundation. You will be added to the registry, and potentially be a match for someone who needs a match. Normally, it costs $65 to do the swab at a hospital. However, with the LoveHopeStrength Foundation, the swab is completely free. Of course, there are some restrictions. You need to be 18+, among other conditions.
As of three days ago, when the Wilderness Politics tour ended, it was announced that a whopping number of 1,621 new marrow donors were added to the registry. That means, potentially 1,621 people in need of a bone marrow donor will be matched. I think that it’s so cool that Andrew uses his concerts for a place where people can enjoy his music, but also learn more about being a bone marrow donor and possibly saving someone else’s life. Check out Andrew’s website here to learn more info about him, or check out the Dear Jack Foundation here.
Listen to Andrew’s music for free on Soundcloud or Spotify. I recommend listening to his hit single, Cecilia and the Satellite. Andrew also has a documentary on Netflix called Dear Jack!