Wednesday, September 15, 2010

In Honour of Nergal, Behemoth fans in New York City, Los Angeles, and Connecticut Organize Bone Marrow Drive to Raise Leukemia Awareness

Since Behemoth frontman Adam "Nergal" Darski was reported as being diagnosed with leukemia, the vocalist and lead guitarist has been calling for awareness of the need for bone marrow donors. Since then, fans have answered the call and in the U.S. alone, a number of fan-organized bone marrow drives have been set up during the months of October and November.

MetalSucks has reported that the following drives have been scheduled:

New York City Area Drive:

» Wednesday, October 20 at Club Europa in Brooklyn. It will be administered by The Icla da Silva Foundation, Inc., and the table will be set up near the merch area. Participants will be asked to fill out a form detailing some of their medical history, and then a swab will be taken from inside the cheek to determine whether or not they are an eligible donor. There will also be educational pamphlets available for concert-goers who want to learn more. On top of this, there will be performances by A Life Once Lost, Car Bomb, This or the Apocalypse, Baptized in Blood, and Last Chance to Reason.

Los Angeles Area Drive:

 Sunday, October 17 at Dark Realm Records in Downey, California from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. It is a completely free event that will be administered by Be the Match. Again, participants will be asked to fill out some paperwork, and a swab will be taken from inside the cheek. You can get additional details here, or via the flyer at the bottom of this article.

Stamford, Connecticut Drive:

 Sunday, November 14 at Fritz's Cycle Haus from noon to 4:00 PM or possibly 5:00 PM, depending on the turnout. This event will also be administered by Be the Match, and was organized by Steven Kolenberg, a high-school senior. Additional details of this drive will be forthcoming; in the meantime, Kolenberg urges people to register to be a donor online if you can't attend in person.

Behemoth bassist Orion (Tomasz Wróblewski) recently spoke during the Focus on Metal weekly podcast about Nergal's condition and the disease in general. In response to fan inquiries regarding what can be done to help Nergal, Orion responded:

"To register in a bone-marrow bank, it's just a sample of blood, so that's the least that anybody can do, so if there is any chance for anybody to just go and do it, then go ahead, and that's a huge help. Even if it doesn't help Nergal directly, it helps some other person, most likely. So that's what people can do in order to [show their] support."

Orion went on to discuss the fact that not all transplants require the donor to undergo surgery:

"The surgery of a bone marrow donor, it's just a simple surgery - it takes two weeks to be 100 percent cured and recovered. So it's not a serious thing. And to be a match for somebody, it takes months of testing and everything at the bone-marrow bank. The chance for a person who is unrelated to be a match for somebody is 1 to 40,000, as far as I know, so being afraid of going under a knife, it sounds a little ridiculous to me if you can go through a little surgical [procedure] and save somebody's life. It takes two weeks to get recovered 100 percent - that's it."

As of now, Nergal is receiving treatment in the haematology division of Poland's Gdansk Medical University Hospital. It has been reported that he has safely undergone his first round of chemotherapy as well as a number of other procedures whilst waiting for a donor with matching marrow.

In a previous official statement, Nergal said:

"If you know the history of Behemoth you know we achieved everything by hard work and a steely determination. The same goes for my private life. I happen to be a strong son of a bitch. I have no faith but rely on a 100 percent victory and I am sure I will get out of it stronger than ever. Sun Tzu in his Art of War said that if you know your enemy and yourself the result of a thousand battles will not surprise you. I enter the ring with this Nietzschean attitude and I will leave it as a winner, as usual. Just watch and see."

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