'HeavyHitter' Pretty Lou Joins Forces with DKMS

Pretty Lou wearing a yellow sweatshirt stands to the right of the DKMS logo in the NYC office
Sign up for a swab kit online. It only takes 5 minutes. You provide hope. We cover the rest.
Sydney Ross, Digital Marketing Manager
by Sydney Ross
Digital Marketing Manager
Further articles

Pretty Lou battled and defeated his aplastic anemia and leukemia diagnosis and has become a symbol of motivation and hard work to all that follow his journey. He's lived by the motto, "Pretty Lou will not lose" - proving not only successful, but inspirational.

NYC Hot 97's 'HeavyHitter' Luis Ortega, better known to the entertainment world as Pretty Lou from the Terror Squad, has continuously dominated NYC's nightclub scene as the #1 party host and DJ.

Pretty Lou sitting in a hospital chair

At the height of his career, Pretty Lou became diagnosed with a rare bone marrow disease called aplastic anemia a condition that occurred when his body stopped producing enough new blood cells. This rare and serious condition elevated to large granular lymphocytic (LGL) leukemia , a type of blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow. Pretty Lou received his treatment at NY Presbyterian Hospital Columbia in New York City and has successfully been in remission and cancer-free.

Pretty Lou was one of the 30% of cancer patients who are able to find a match within their family for if/when a bone marrow transplant is needed, but for the other 70% of patients, they must find an unrelated donor by looking to the registry. These donors are found through individuals who voluntarily register and donate to blood cancer and blood disorder patients they match with.

We are excited to partner with Pretty Lou and The Pretty Lou Foundation for the 15,000 people who are looking for their match every day - making up the 70% of patients who need an unrelated donor. Our goal is to continue to expand and diversify the registry and we hope Pretty Lou's story will reach more people and inspire them to register.

Registering as a potential donor only takes 5 minutes and anyone in general good health between the ages of 18-55 are eligible - you can check our eligibility requirements to learn more. You can request your free swab kit sent directly to you by completing the online registration form - complete the 3 swabs and mail them back in the pre-paid envelope. If you're ever found to be a match, someone from DKMS will be in touch and walk you through the process. Today could be your first day as a lifesaver-in-waiting!


Sign up for a swab kit online. It only takes 5 minutes. You provide hope. We cover the rest.
More ways to help
You can support DKMS in many ways and give hope to more blood cancer and blood disorder patients.