Be a star in someone’s night sky by signing up to become a blood stem cell donor
In the lead up to World Marrow Donor Day celebrated on Saturday, 17 September, the SABMR is launching an out-of-this-world campaign, which will see an actual star being named after a lucky donor once the registry reaches its target of 100 000 donor registrations. To boost donor numbers this month, they will be hosting various events across the country.
In the last three decades, the SA Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR) has travelled almost six times to the moon and back to collect blood stem cells from all four corners of the globe for South African patients in need of a transplant. Precious stem cells help rebuild a patient’s immune system – working as a cure for numerous blood cancers.
Jane Ward, Deputy Director of the SABMR says they consider each one of their almost 80 000 existing donors as stars!
“Much like stars that are born in the same cluster share similar chemical signatures, which help scientists track the stars they are related to, so our donor searches help us to find genetic twins among humans that share matching DNA, no matter where in the world they are.
“This September, we want to make the world shine a bit brighter for those afflicted with blood disorders. To become eligible for the star-naming, you can sign up to become a donor online or at any of our drives. Who knows, you may become our 1 in 100 000 Stem Cell Star. Our patients don’t have the luxury of time. They suffer from life-threatening illnesses such as leukemia, lymphoma, aplastic anemia and immune deficiency disorders that can claim their lives within the space of a few weeks or months”, says Jane.
To boost donor numbers this month, the SABMR will be hosting various events across the country. These include, physical donor drives, fun runs, celebrity-judged bake-offs and more. For more info on these events and how you can get involved, visit the https://sabmr.co.za/world-marrow-donor-day-wmdd/ or follow them on @sabonemreg.