Today's Evil Beet Gossip

If Your Kid Needs a Bone Marrow Transplant, Definitely Enroll Him in Classes with Ed Burns’ Kid


I’m being snarky, but it’s a fantastic story:

Ed Burns had just dropped off his 3-year-old son at his Manhattan school when the actor-director spotted a flier on the wall about a preschooler in need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant. “It broke my heart,” the Saving Private Ryan star tells PEOPLE exclusively.

On April 6, 4-year-old Kai Anderson, who attends the same school as Burns’s son, was diagnosed with the rare and aggressive Philadelphia Chromosome-Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. The news was a blow to his family, especially since his father, David Anderson, was diagnosed a year ago with Mantle Cell Lymphoma – another rare and complicated form of cancer.

Young Kai’s urgent need for a transplant struck Burns – especially because he’s the father of two children with wife Christy Turlington: Grace, 5, and Finn, 3. “I went home and told my wife,” he says. “We said, ‘What can we do to help this family?’ She called a friend and got more details. We wanted to do whatever we could.”

The couple are doing their part by spreading the word about a donor drive for Kai on Saturday, May 2, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Montessori School of Manhattan on 53 Beach St. in New York City. “The Tribeca Film Festival is going on that same day, so thousands of people will be in the neighborhood,” says Burns. “We’re trying to get them to take a few minutes of their day to have their cheek swabbed so that they can become potential donors.”

It’s interesting that this should come up today — earlier in the week, I saw a Demi Moore tweet about the bone marrow registry and how important it was that people register. I went to the website she mentioned,, and filled out the form to join the registry. My kit is supposed to come in the mail this week or next. All you have to do is swab your cheek — no needles or anything! — and mail it back and you’re added to the registry. Sure, there’s a lot of stuff you have to do if you turn out to be a match, but none of it will kill or maim me. Only 1 in 200 people on the registry are ever actually asked to donate bone marrow, and a week or two of discomfort on my part seems like a very small price to pay for the honor of saving a life.

Thanks to all these celebs for making this cause visible.

7 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Currently, the largest void in bone marrow banks is with donors of color. It is something like 40x harder for an Asian, Latina, or Black person to find a match than a Caucasian person. Our campus’ Asian American Alliance held our own marrow donor drive. It’s a great idea, and if you get in contact with the National Organizations, they are willing to fly out and bring kits with them. All you’d have to do is advertise and reserve a venue.

  • Let everyone know it’s $52 for the kit, per the website, but it’s tax deductible. This is a wonderful cause.

  • I’m so glad you posted about this! I signed up for the marrow registry a few months ago myself and it is so sad to see how few people stop at the booth during a drive, especially since all you have to do is swab a cheek!

  • I don’t see the article saying anything about him or his wife becoming potential donors.