‘Bad Blood’ parody video features York County woman

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Shahonna Grove of Windsor Township stands for a portrait at Cousler Park Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, hours before the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk event. Grove, who was volunteering for Be the Match to help register potential blood donors, was diagnosed 22 years ago with bone marrow failure, also known as aplastic anemia. For the past 10 years, she has received weekly platelet transfusions and monthly red blood cell transfusions, and has been in need of a donor match for a blood marrow transplant. “Once I get a donor, that’s it,” said Grove, who hasn’t been able to take vacations longer than five days and can’t overexert herself at the end of the week. “I’m a new person; I’m free to move about the country.” (Photo: Chris Dunn — Daily Record/Sunday News)

Taylor Swift’s song “Bad Blood,” a tune about a rival between to ex-friends, has a special meaning for some people who have been diagnosed with blood diseases.

One bone marrow transplant patient wants the public to know now he now has good blood, and others can too if more donors add their names to the bone marrow registry.

And he’s asked a York County woman to help him spread his message.

Kevin McDevitt, a Los Angeles film producer and writer, met Shahonna Grove of Red Lion in an online aplastic anemia support group. He had posted asking for people to be involved in his Taylor Swift “Bad Blood” parody video.

Grove recorded a video of herself lip syncing one part of the song and sent it to McDevitt.

Grove, 39, was born with what was later diagnosed as aplastic anemia, a type of blood disease, that causes bone marrow failure.

She needs a stem cell transplant or bone marrow transplant, Grove said.

But first she needs a match.

Successful matches are usually donors who are closely related to the patient, but Grove is adopted and doesn’t have that option.

For now, she is undergoing weekly platelet transfusions and monthly whole-blood transfusions at a facility in Lancaster. But her white blood cell count is starting to drop, which could limit her body’s ability to fight infection, she said. If it gets down to a certain point, she will need to be isolated because she won’t have an immune system, Grove said.

Helping patients find a match is one of the reasons McDevitt, who has two blood disorders, created his video parody, he said. He hopes the video will help raise awareness of the diseases and encourage people to donate.

He was diagnosed with aplastic anemia and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria about one year ago and received a bone marrow transplant from his sister in March. About four months after his transplant, McDevitt and his wife decided to get out of town for a weekend to celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary.

While on-route to the Channel Islands National Park in California, McDevitt heard Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” for the first time.

“It made us laugh because I had had two blood diseases and was doing much better and was feeling like I had good blood now,” McDevitt said.

He had always been a Taylor Swift fan and really loves Kendrick Lamar, a hip-hop artists who is featured on Swift’s video.

McDevitt, a writer and a film maker, sat down with his wife to write a parody of the song. His wife, Stephanie, sings the Swift part while McDevitt channels his rap skills for Lamar’s part. He recorded it and then filmed the video a week later. The whole process took about 4 weeks to complete.

The parody video has been viewed more than 200,000 times on Youtube and Facebook since it was posted in September. Not only has it raised awareness, but it has also brought patients together as a community.

McDevitt said he has heard from people who have the same blood disease as well as people that have donated after seeing the video.

Grove is glad she was in the video because a young woman in New York City contacted her about doing a donor drive, hoping to help Grove find a match.

“We’re all pulling for her. She’s a very strong person,” McDevittt said about Grove.

Donate

To donate, visit bethematch.org.

More on Kevin McDevitt

Follow Kevin McDevitt’s blog at http://www.kevmdev.com.

See it on YDR here.

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