Upcoming donor drives

A patient is most likely to find a match within their own ethnic group, as a stem cell donor needs to be a genetic or DNA match, and not a blood group match. With the odds of patients finding a suitable donor being 1:100 000, it is imperative that The Sunflower Fund grows the registry in order to offer hope to more patients.

Education, awareness, recruitment and testing of donors are inextricably linked. The one activity cannot happen in isolation of the other. In order to continue this valuable work, The Sunflower Fund seeks ongoing assistance from the general public and corporate SA.

It takes just two test tubes of blood to become registered as a stem cell donor but it costs The Sunflower Fund R2,000 to tissue type that sample at the required molecular (DNA) level. The blood samples are analysed and the individuals’ data is then stored on the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR) until the age of 60 years old.

There are currently more than 72 000 people registered on the SABMR and the Fund’s goal is to double that number. In order to ensure that cost is not a limiting factor for a prospective donor, The Sunflower Fund bears the costs of the tissue-typing test. It is greatly appreciated when a prospective donor or company makes a voluntary contribution towards the test/s cost to allow the organisation to reach more potential donors.

If your company would like to sponsor a drive please contact us on our toll free number 0800 12 10 82 or email info@sunflowerfund.org.za