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Ballard blood drive July 8 will support key Ballard Bridge bike advocate

Sean’s new cycling jersey

If you are a regular Ballard Bridge biker, you are certainly familiar with how frustrating it can be. The south end is dangerous, the sidewalks are skinny and bridge construction workers seem to close sidewalks without warning.

But perhaps no other person in Seattle has been more instrumental in getting the city to take bike commuters on the bridge seriously than Sean Cryan.

As a member of the Bicycle Advisory Board and a regular Ballard Bridge commuter, Sean has taken on the thankless task of holding city officials and contractors to their word to help keep the pitiful-but-vital bridge as friendly as possible for people biking. Due in large part (if not entirely) to Sean’s persistence—for example—contractors working on the upcoming Ballard Bridge seismic upgrades will not be able to close the sidewalks during commute hours, and they will never be able to close both sides at once.

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If you are a Ballard Bridge user (or just someone who appreciates Sean’s work, which extends far beyond the bridge), now is your chance to show your appreciation. The Cryan family and the Ballard Boys and Girls Club are hosting a blood drive July 8 as Sean battles Myelodysplastic Syndrome. Show your support and register for a time slot today.

From Sean:

Ballard Boys and Girls Club Blood and Donor Drive

July 8th, 2012

9 am – 3 pm (closed 11-11:45 am)

The Ballard Boys and Girls Club is hosting a blood and donor drive in support of the Cryan family. Two years ago Louisa had a stem cell transplant from donated umbilical cord blood to cure her of leukemia. Now her father, Sean, needs to have a stem cell transplant to cure his Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a cancer of the bone marrow. Because of an underlying blood condition, neither were able to have donations from their siblings or other relatives, but both have been able to find matches from unrelated donors through the generosity of people willing to give their stem cells to help others.

Getting on the donor roll is easy – there is a questionnaire and a cheek swab – basically rubbing a Q-tip inside your mouth to capture some of your genetic material – so they can test you and have your information ready when the need arises for donors. You have to be between the ages of 18 and 60 to be eligible. No advance sign up is necessary, and the entire process should take about a half hour to complete.

There is always a need for possible stem cell donors, but there is an urgent need for donors from minority and mixed races. We are trying to approach the day when everyone needing a transplant is able to find a match – currently that is hardest for minorities, and we’d like to grow that part of the donor list as well.

You have to be 16 or older to give blood, with a permission form for the parents and guardians of those from the ages of 16-17 www.psbc.org/programs/permission.pdf. If you have filled out a form in the past for the Puget Sound Blood Center, then they have it on file and there is no need for a new one. For blood donors, you have to sign up in advance on line – www.tinyurl.com/ballardboysandgirlsblooddrive. We’d like to fill up all the available slots, so please sign up soon! You should allow an hour for the whole process to be completed, and for you to be able to drink some juice and eat some cookies and get your energy levels back before you leave.

When Louisa was undergoing her treatment she used a total of 69 units of blood products. Each donation is divided into 3 units, so each donor can help save 3 lives! Summer is the slow season for blood donations, but the fast season for injuries requiring blood, so this is a great opportunity to donate while the need is great! The Blood Center relies on 900 donors each and every day to supply over 70 hospitals and their patients with vital donated blood for life-saving transfusions.

Thanks for considering either of these options, and if you feel like it, you can do both!

Louisa and I thank you!

Sean Cryan

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