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GWAR fans sign up to bone marrow donor registry to help guitarist

Michael Derks - aka Balsac The Jaws Of Death
Michael Derks - aka Balsac The Jaws Of Death (Image credit: Getty)

Thousands of GWAR fans have added their names to a bone marrow donor registry after the band’s guitarist Michael Derks – aka Balsac The Jaws Of Death – was diagnosed with myelofibrosis.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch report that the band launched a partnership with the Love Hope Strength organisation earlier this year after Derks was diagnosed with the rare form of bone marrow cancer.

Derks is searching for a matching donor and fans attending the band’s live shows are being asked to swab the inside of their cheeks so their DNA can be entered into the nationwide database.

And around 3000 fans have answered the call.

Love Hope Strength’s national tour manager Rob Rushing says: “They’re the no.1 band we’ve had on our virtual drive. We’ve partnered with Ozzy Osbourne, all kinds of bands, and GWAR right now has more people signed up for the virtual drive than anyone else by far.”

Derks is using medical centres around the country to monitor his blood and it’s reported that he’d return to Richmond for a blood transfusion.

Rushing adds: “Their fans care, they care for Michael and they want to save lives.”

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Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.