Did you know, every 35 seconds someone somewhere in the world is diagnosed with a blood disorder? Often, a stem cell or bone marrow transplant is the only hope of a cure for patients with blood disorders such as Leukaemia, sickle cell disease and Thalassaemia, to name a few.
In order to have a successful transplant, a patient needs a donor with the same genetic characteristics as them. Sadly, there is only a 30% chance that a family member might be a match, and the remaining 70% chance is that a stranger somewhere in the world might be a perfect match.
To curb the challenges that Covid-19 has placed on the recruitment of donors, The Sunflower Fund sponsored by DKMS has rolled out their online registration platform. If you’re looking to do something meaningful this Mandela Day, or are simply interested in registering as a donor, you can now visit www.sunflowerfund.org to complete the process online. A swab kit will then be couriered to you, so you can register without leaving your home.
People between the ages of 18 and 55, have a consistent weight of more than 50kg and a BMI of less than 40, could be eligible to register.
The process consists of only two swabs on the inside of your cheek, and the online health screening takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
“With Mandela Day being all about using our collective power to create a global movement for good towards humanity, we would like urge South Africa to use their 67 minutes to help us grow our registry in South Africa,” says Kim Webster Head of Communications at The Sunflower Fund partnered by DKMS.
Mandela Day is all about giving back and doing something good for others. Held every year on 18 July, the day honours former president Nelson Mandela, and his achievements in working towards conflict resolution, democracy, human rights and peace and reconciliation.
It is customary for South Africans to show their solidarity by partaking in charitable initiatives or providing an act of service to others that is personal and meaningful to them. Becoming a stem cell donor is just one small act that can help the world in a big way.
“It takes about 7 minutes to register, and in one hour you can mobilise your networks to follow suit and become one of more than 32 million people globally committed to saving lives of patients with blood disorders,” Webster continued.
“We all have the power to save a life, all it takes is a decision to just take action,” Webster concluded.