Mission and vision
No one should die because there is no match.
The Sunflower Fund educates and registers stem cell donors. We fundraise to cover the recruitment costs to grow a healthy, effective, ethnically diverse South African Bone Marrow Registry of committed donors. We play an active role in the process of saving lives through blood stem cell transplants.
The Sunflower Fund is committed to giving hope of life to adults and children in need of a blood stem cell transplant. We invite you to be a part of this journey.
The Sunflower Fund is a South African non-profit organisation dedicated to creating awareness, educating the public and facilitating the registration process for people to join the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR).
Increasing the number of donors listed on the national database offers hope to hundreds of South Africans with blood diseases such as leukaemia who have reached the point where their only chance of survival is a stem cell transplant. A larger Registry significantly improves patients’ prospects of finding matching stem cell donors in order to undergo life-saving stem cell transplants.
Education, awareness and the recruitment and testing of donors are inextricably linked; the one activity cannot happen in isolation of the other. They are an integral part of every project TSF embarks on and these activities include speaking about the role of The Sunflower Fund and the need to build the registry; the donor/patient relationship and the process of a stem cell transplant; and dispelling the myths surrounding stem cell donation process. In order to continue its valuable work, The Sunflower Fund relies solely on financial assistance from its dedicated funders – consisting of individuals, companies and organisations.
It takes just two test tubes of blood to become registered as a stem cell donor, but it the tissue typing of each sample at the required molecular (DNA) level currently costs The Sunflower Fund R2 000 per test. Donors are asked to make a voluntary contribution to this expense, but most of these costs are covered by The Sunflower Fund’s fundraising efforts.
Once the blood samples have been analysed, the individuals’ genetic information is then stored on the SABMR’s searchable database until the prospective donor turns 60 years old, which is the mandatory retirement age.
Our strategic objectives
The Sunflower Fund aims to:
- Promote public awareness of leukaemia and other chronic blood disorders through national education and awareness campaigns and events.
- Recruit blood stem cell donors for the South African Bone Marrow Registry.
- Increase the number of donors on the South African Bone Marrow Registry to 400,000 donors, representative of the ethnic diversity in the country.
- Fund raise and cover the costs of the blood tests for tissue-typing blood samples provided by donors, currently @ R2 000 per recruited donor.
- After approval by our independent clinician panel, fund raise to cover the costs of donor searches on the Registry being processed for indigent patients who are unable to afford the costs.