My open-source body.

There’s a moment in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels after the caper is finished when Vinnie Jones’ character bids farewell to the four main characters and says simply: “It’s been emotional.”

Which rather sums up how I’ve been feeling, lately.

My friend Emru Townsend, co-editor of Frames Per Second Magazine, recently had a bone marrow transplant to help treat a pernicious form of leukemia. However, despite the full engraftment of his new stem cells, Emru is now facing a possible case of Graft vs. Host Disease. His hematologists give him between a few months and a single year to live.

Emru helped initiate me into Canadian life. He gave me a contributor position at FPS, which led to my covering the Toronto International Film Festival, and meeting even more people. He helped me build this website, by referring me to my current host and teaching me about FireFTP. He’s a husband and father, a freelance writer, a tech blogger and anime fan. This year at Anime North, I pressed his picture into the hands of almost every minority attendee I could find, because people of Caribbean descent are under-represented globally in bone marrow registries. And don’t even get me started on the labours his sister Tamu has taken on: the woman is a machine whose single-minded resolve to educate others and save lives has brought both comfort and knowledge to those far beyond the circle of her family and community. Both Tamu and Emru are the kind of people who awaken compassion, energy, and inspiration in others. That is their strength. Their dignity and grace at this time has been nothing less than stellar.

Emru is why Mr. Ashby and I are part of the OneMatch bone marrow donor registry. Emru is why I’m donating blood tomorrow. Because there is always more to give. There is always more to do. The story doesn’t end with dying, which is why I’m also a registered organ donor.

We can always be useful. Even when we’re alone in our apartments crying our eyes out.

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