One of the ways I’ve changed since being at Glendon is my community involvement. It’s something so central to the campus culture, and something I’ve written about recently. Before moving to Toronto, I felt keenly my lack of community: the paucity of role models, the scarcity of people like me.
I first attended a Mixed In The Six event over the summer with my friend Nadine. We were struck initially by two things: everyone was really friendly, and everyone seemed so welcoming. To be mixed is to always belong “elsewhere”, so to be in a space where everyone had different backgrounds and yet so much shared experience was immensely uplifting. That night, we met the Dinh-Ali family. Their son, Aary, is 12 years old. He is half Vietnamese, half Afghani, and he has aplastic anemia, for which he needs a bone marrow transplant. The problem with this is that finding bone marrow donors for mixed-race people is extremely difficult, so Aary relies on frequent blood transfusions.
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Will you be giving blood next Saturday? We have three blood-donation locations set up throughout the city: Manulife Centre, Hillcrest Mall, and Heartland TC. #MIT64AARY #itsinyoutogive #MIT64AARY #itsinyoutogive #mixedinthesix #mixedpeople #blooddrive #canadianbloodservices #toronto #philanthropy #match4aary #mixedmatch
I was shocked. I know all too well how illness can sneak up on you — the first twenty years of my life were blissfully healthy. I would hate to think that in a city as diverse as Toronto, a chunk of our population — mixed-race people — are at risk because of lack of blood and bone marrow donations from diverse sources. I can’t imagine how I would feel if someone I love such as my little siblings, my friends, members of my community were in the position Aary is in now.
For MIT6, Aary is like a little brother. The community has adopted him, and with that, taken on a fight to help him and others like him. So on October 21st — this Saturday — we are hosting blood drives at three different locations across the city/GTA.
Mixed in the Six has become a second family to me, and I’m so grateful that I can be involved in serving this little community — between beachside barbecues and art and food events, we want to be involved in helping Aary and others like him. All the info is in the image above: come out and show your support.