Netcells encouraged Gynaecologists nationally who do stem cell collections for them to donate their procedural fees to a chosen charity for the year. In 2012, The Sunflower Fund was nominated as their charity of choice and due to the kindness of the doctors they were able to donate an amount of R34 210.80 to The Fund.
The money will be used to include more donors on the South African Bone Marrow Registry in turn giving hope to children and young adults diagnosed with leukaemia and other life-threatening blood disorders.
The chances of finding a bone marrow stem cell donor match is 1:100 000 within your own ethnic group and currently there are only just over 64500 donors on the South African Bone Marrow Registry.
"It only takes two test tubes of blood to become a donor and if you are a successful match, the donor process is as painless as donating blood" explains Stephanie Berry, PR Manager for The Sunflower Fund in KwaZulu Natal.
"Bone marrow is no longer surgically removed but additional white blood cells are harvested directly from the blood stream much like donating blood or platelets. Donors must however be aware that they are joining the Registry to help any patient in need of a transplant", continues Stephanie. "It is unbearable for a patient and their family to learn that someone on the Registry was a possible match but is no longer prepared to go through with the process."
The Sunflower Fund is the only organisation that educates and recruits potential bone marrow stem cell donors. A contribution towards this tissue typing cost, no matter how small, would be greatly appreciated.