DKMS Creates Celebrity Driven #Castingforahero Campaign

Vin Diesel launched the campaign at the Fate of the Furious Premiere
Calling for More Diverse Bone Marrow Donors to Save Lives

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#DKMSDKMS,
the international non-profit leading the fight against blood cancer,
teamed with the film industry and launched #CastingforaHero,
a campaign designed to raise awareness about diversity in bone marrow
donation and to urge more people to swab their cheeks and register as
potential lifesaving bone marrow/blood stem cell donors. The campaign
was first launched by actor/producer Vin
Diesel
, has been supported on social media by ‘Fast’ franchise
players Tyrese
Gibson
, Cris
Bridges (Ludacris)
, Don
Omar
and the brother of late actor Paul Walker, Cody
Walker
, and will be joined by other cast members to support the
campaign this month. It has also garnered support by a number of
celebrities including Guardians of the Galaxy actress, Zoe
Saldana
and Larenz Tate. Tate appeared on the television show POWER,
alongside Charlie Murphy, who passed away earlier this month from
complications related to blood cancer.

Diesel launched the campaign on his Instagram (@vindiesel) posting,
“Today, premiere day (April 8), I am proud to launch #CastingforaHero –
a campaign to save lives by increasing the multicultural community’s
presence in the worldwide bone marrow registries.”

The campaign was conceived by DKMS through a partnership with Samantha
Vincent, (Executive Producer, the Fate of the Furious) and Frank
E. Flowers (Director, Haven) after they lost a family member to leukemia
and became aware of the overwhelming odds faced by minorities and those
of mixed race backgrounds of finding an unrelated match due to being
underrepresented on the registry. Of all donors registered only 6% are
African American, 9% are Hispanic/Latino, 6% are Asians, and 4% are
Mixed Race.

In partnership with the community, one of the nation’s premier cross
cultural creative advertising agencies, the #castingforahero concept was
developed and executed through social and experiential channels
leveraging key influencers with the goal of raising awareness and
activating younger donors. The campaign was launched with the support of
Universal Pictures, Saturday, April 8 during the Fate of the Furious
#F8 premiere at Radio City Music Hall in NYC, with #castingforahero
photo booths present at the F8 premiere after party which gave VIP
guests an opportunity to register.

In the companion video,
written and directed by Flowers and produced by Andrew Molina, Anne
McCarthy (Casting Director, Furious 7) and her associates
audition real-life unknown actors for a “hero” role where they are asked
to cold-read scripts about the lack of diversity on the bone marrow
registry. The actors become emotional upon learning the scripts are in
fact about themselves and their own chances to beat a disease like
leukemia if there are not enough potential donors registered who share
the same ancestry. The video calls for more true heroes – potential bone
marrow/blood stem cell donors – to join the effort to fight blood cancer
and help find more matches for people of all ethnic backgrounds.

The newly launched website, castingforahero.com,
allows people to create their own casting photo with custom skins
representing unique identities and share on their social media
platforms, while directing them to register
with DKMS as a potential lifesaving donor.

“Each year thousands of people lose the fight against blood cancer
because they are unable to find their hero: a lifesaving bone marrow
match,” said Katharina Harf, co-founder of DKMS US. “#CastingforaHero
will help bring attention to the need for more diversity among potential
bone marrow donors. By registering to become a DKMS donor, you can
change the odds and become a life-saving hero yourself.”

For more information about #CastingforaHero, visit www.castingforahero.com.
To learn more about DKMS or register as a potential lifesaving donor,
please visit www.dkms.org/register
or @dkms.us.

About DKMS

DKMS
is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating
blood cancers like Leukemia and other blood-related illnesses inspiring
both men and women around the world to register as bone marrow and blood
stem cell donors. DKMS is providing patients with a second chance at
life, working closely with families from diagnosis to transplant and
beyond. The donor journey begins with a swab of the cheek that takes
less than 60 seconds and can be the action that leads to a lifesaving
transplant. DKMS, originally founded in Germany in 1991 by Dr. Peter
Harf, has organizations in Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom and the
United States. The U.S. office was started in 2004. Globally, DKMS has
registered more than 7.2 million people. To join the fight against blood
cancer or for more information, please go to dkms.org
or @DKMS.us.

Contacts

Marino
Daniella Alkobi, 212-402-3491
dalkobi@marinopr.com