Live Like Yemi

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*Update 11/9/2022* The memorial services will take place 11/10/22 at 9:30am at the Family Community Church, 478 Piercy Road, San Jose. They will also be broadcast on Zoom, see link below. Funeral services will take place at noon at Mission City Memorial Park, 420 N. Winchester Blvd, Santa Clara. A reception will follow at 2:00pm at Mekane Rama Saint Gabriel Cathedral Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, 505 Coyote Road, San Jose.

Zoom link for the memorial: Life Celebration of Yemi Getachew
Time: Nov 10, 2022 09:15 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting…
Meeting ID: 921 8375 1526
Passcode: 335681

*Update 11/7/2022* It is with a heavy heart that we share this blood drive is now in memory of Yemi. Yemi passed away last night at home surrounded by loved ones. We ask that you continue to share and amplify this drive in memory of a life spent giving back to the communities she was a part of. In the last few weeks, the idea of a blood drive buoyed her spirits and she was happy to see the success of the drive with pledges of donations rolling in from around the country. With 13 days remaining, we can reach our goal of 200 donations which can save 600 lives.

For those local to the SF Bay Area, services are being organized at Rama St. Gabriel Church on Tuesday and Wednesday from noon to 8pm.

Rest well dear friend.


This blood drive is organized to honor and celebrate of our friend, Yemi Getachew.

Yemi has been fighting uterine sarcoma for the last three years. As she was defiant in her youth, she defied the poor stage 4 prognosis doctors gave her in 2019 to travel, briefly live in the East Coast, hike, eat, and laugh with us for the last three years. She fought her cancer bravely and with determination, the way she fought for her clients escaping persecution from their countries. While she is still with us, she is in hospice care (at home), surrounded by love and support 24/7. She is at peace with her decision. Throughout her battle she never lost her sense of humor or contagious smile. She has received numerous blood transfusions which energize and sustain her. After these transfusions she contemplates what characteristics she would inherit from her blood donors:

“I have been getting blood transfusions the last month or so. The first transfusion was very energizing and I imagined it was from a strong young man (possibly handsome) and I was trying to see if I can get his number because the compatibility was amazing! The second transfusion on the other hand, did little for my energy, but made me crabby, so I imagined that must have been the character of the person I got the blood from. Some whiny person. This last one on Sunday though was interesting. On Monday I had enough energy to go to the grocery store where I found myself scrutinizing prices and lamenting at how expensive it was getting a little too much. Someone frugal perhaps? I hope this behavior sticks and Jeff Bezos gets no more of my money! These blood transfusions have to count for some behavior change!!!! LOL!”

“I am at the infusion clinic awaiting my blood transfusion. I have high hopes that I may be getting some high IQ blood, so bring on the insoluble math problems tonight.”

“What happens when someone’s blood is transfused? To be honest, I don’t know, so for the things that I don’t know, I like to make stuff up. The two-units of blood I took, I wonder if they were from different people or the same person? What was that person like? Assuming that they were two different people, what if one of them was a hard line, right-wing, gun-toting, white-supremacist? Was I going to wake up chanting “MAGA! MAGA!” or was it the blood of a sworn Birkenstock-adorning, dreadlock- sporting, Santa Cruz pot-head and I would wake up with an insane urge to hug a tree? Does one cancel the other? Or is two of the same enough to change me? It turns out I didn’t need to answer that question because while that was the first time I needed blood transfusion it was not my last and, judging from the number of times it came to pass that I needed blood, I have an entire mini-population’s worth…surely I must have had some from every ethnicity, political persuasion and creed. I may have had an interesting cocktail flow through my veins, but one thing I know, one thing I am sure of today is…#BIDENHARRIS2020.”

We are currently facing a blood shortage and it is only through the generosity of healthy donors that Yemi was able to receive so many blood transfusions these past few years. Yemi has touched many lives and we can think of no better way to honor her than to pay forward her kindness and generosity of spirit through a blood drive. Please consider making a blood donation to honor Yemi and help save another person’s life.

Pledges and comments to the host will be shared with Yemi. If you’d like to share your donation publicly, please use #livelikeYemi.