170 in 7: An Overwhelming Response from the Asian American Community in Memory of Janet

Last week, I was saddened to hear about Janet Liang’s death. I had been inspired by Janet’s battle against leukemia, and in the wake of her passing, I thought it would be nice for the community to create some sort of movement in Janet’s memory: a cyber vigil, perhaps. A small symbol of how we bloggers are more than just commentators — that we can do good.

It started as a perhaps silly sort of notion (a bunch of bloggers coordinating posts to try and ask for readers to do some real-life good)  tossed out to a small network of Asian American bloggers through Facebook, but it quickly germinated into what became the 170 in 7 campaign. Overnight, blogs far bigger than mine (Angry Asian Man, 8Asians, ChannelAPA, AARisings, and many others, just to name a few) committed themselves to the campaign. From there, the campaign took on a bit of a life of its own as bloggers threw in ideas about logistics and ironed out the details.

After spending a weekend putting information together and reaching out to the Helping Janet campaign (and AADP organizers), I woke up this morning with butterflies in my stomach. Would this come together? Could we coordinate something like this? Would we see any sort of response from the community?

24 hours later, I’ve been overwhelmed, inspired, and a little humbled by the positive responses we’ve had. Four more sites — Jook Time, Cheekswab.org, Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, and the incredible ladies at Disgrasian — signed on as partners. Everywhere I turn, there seems to be buzz within the Asian American blogosphere about the 170 in 7 campaign. And, as planned, we pulled off a flurry  of coordinated posts today announcing the 170 in 7 campaign across the Internet and through Twitter.

I have no idea if we will hit our goal of registering 170 new bone marrow donors in 7 days (although I totally hope we will). But, I think this campaign is already a success — we have done so much in just a single day to raise awareness about leukemia, bone marrow donation, and the incredible impact awesome community heroes like Janet have on our community.

Today, I feel so heart-warmed. Our community is awesome.


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