What is great about this site is that we are able to do help spread the news about great charities or fundraisers that is happening. We heard that an Arrow fan started a project called OTA-Inspired so we contacted her and found out all of the great details about what it is for and how you can help.
Explain what the OTA-Inspired Campaign is.
The intention of the campaign is to connect with the Arrow fandom that admires the Original Team Arrow to consider becoming heroes themselves by signing up for the national bone marrow registry via a special campaign page on the DKMS.ORG website. Every 3 minutes. someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukemia or lymphoma and each year. 70% of those individuals won’t be able to get a life-saving bone marrow transplant from someone in their family and will need to find a match via someone on the registry – a selfless, heroic stranger.
What made you come up with OTA-Inspired campaign?
I am a huge Arrow fan and think one of the key strengths of the show since Season 1 has been the unit – Oliver Queen, Felicity Smoak and John Diggle, working together, facing and surmounting obstacles, each being heroes in their own way. They are a really special part of the show. I think that strength and camaraderie they share appeals to many of us. They are always saving people, so I naturally thought that could inspire fans to do the same, but in real life.
Please tell our readers what DKMS is.
DKMS.ORG is an international non-profit organization dedicated to fighting blood cancer and blood disorders. They have been around for over 25 years and they register potential bone marrow donors around the world.
How does DKMS help people?
They do so much! They raise awareness about blood cancer and blood disorders, they raise funds to match donor registration costs, but the key thing they do, from my perspective, is help register people as potential donors. They are affiliated with the national bone marrow registry. Another great thing they do is support bone marrow donors who are matches to make sure they get transportation to medical facilities and they even help if a donor financially if they need to miss work in order to do their donation.
How did you get involved with DKMS?
I found out about DKMS.ORG and got on the list at a concert about 10 years ago. Early this year, after my Dad passed away, I was feeling pretty low and decided that I wanted to do something positive. I had attended a number of Heroes and Villains Fan Fest events around the country and thought it would be cool to do a drive at one. I approached HVFF and DKMS.ORG and we were able to do a drive at HVFF Chicago. I have had the opportunity to talk to Stephen Amell and David Ramsey about the work of DKMS.ORG and they were both very supportive of the cause. They aren’t aware of the current drive, but I think they would approve of fans becoming real-life heroes.
What is your goal for the fundraiser?
I like the idea of referring to this as a charity drive, actually. Fundraisers imply a monetary donation and I know that we all have limited dollars to give to so many worthy charities. In this case, money is not required. The effort is meant to have people sign up as potential bone marrow donors by getting on the national bone marrow registry. Once they do a health screening to make sure they could safely be a donor and view an informational video, they are sent a kit to do a cheek swab to send in. The results get put in the registry and then, hopefully, one day they may learn they can save the life of a person with lymphoma, leukemia or a serious blood disorder like Sickle Cell disease. I have not been a match myself yet, but I think it would be wonderful to get at least a couple of dozen people from the fan community to sign up through this drive.
How long is the fundraiser going?
At this point, I think my active effort promoting the drive will take place between now and at least the first episode of Arrow Season 7, October 8th.
What are you doing every week of the fundraiser?
I am creating Original Team Arrow- inspired creative content that is posted on social media (Tumblr, Twitter, Ao3). So far, I am writing OTA-related fanfiction and making edits of images of the team. I may do some gifs and perhaps a video as well. I am keen to find out what OTA fans are interested in seeing and what might inspire them to participate in the drive.
If people want to help with the fundraiser how can they?
It would be wonderful if people want to participate in the drive. First and foremost, I would love for them to go to the drive page at https://getinvolved.dkms.org/fundraiser/1522229 and consider registering. If you are between the ages of 18-55, you could become a potential donor. If you are a match, the donation process is, in the majority of cases, similar to giving blood. The other way fans can help is by promoting the drive themselves, sharing the link and even creating OTA content themselves to encourage others.