The SA Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR) is celebrating three decades of saving lives this September.
In honour of its anniversary, the registry hosted a virtual concert on Friday, September 17 commemorating its 30-year legacy with actor and producer, Frank Rautenbach as MC and SAMA nominated artist, Jarrad Ricketts providing top-notch entertainment.
Dr Charlotte Ingram, medical director and CEO of the SABMR, stated that the concert was a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of the work they do and to share poignant stories of donors and patients whose lives they have touched over the years.
She explained, We also paid tribute to donors, who are the backbone of the SA Bone Marrow Registry. They continue to provide hope to countless families and patients whose lives depend on their selfless acts. Annually, an estimated 4, 000 new cases of blood disorders, such as leukaemia and lymphoma occur in South Africa. For many patients, the best chance of a cure is a bone marrow transplant, also termed a stem-cell transplant.
With thousands of tissue types, the odds of finding a match outside of a patients family is one in 100, 000, which is like finding a needle in a haystack.
For others, who may have inherited unique tissue types, the odds drop even further. The more donors we have across racial demographics, the greater the likelihood of a match and saving a patients life, she added.
As the only accredited member of the World Marrow Donor Association in Africa, the SABMR collaborates with expert physicians across South Africa and over 70 registries worldwide to search locally and internationally for compatible donors for patients in need.
We are extremely proud to celebrate the registrys 30th anniversary, which marks a milestone in our journey. Since it was founded by Prof Ernette du Toit and the late Prof Peter Jacobs in 1991, much has changed, but the one constant has been our mission, to save lives. For 30 years, we have connected patients with their lifesaving donors and provided support to patients and their loved ones throughout their transplant journey. This commitment has always and will continue to remain at the heart of what we do, mentioned Dr Ingram.
Each and every day, they facilitate and improve access to transplants, conduct research, educate and support patients and physicians.
She continued, From the moment a physician contacts us for a donor to the safe delivery of the cells to a patient, we are there every step of the way. We are touched by the lives saved through transplantation and its what fuels our passion and dedication to find and deliver matched unrelated donor stem cells to patients, not only in South Africa, but all over the world.
Some of the milestones achieved by the SABMR in the last three decades:
Dr Ingram says the NGO continues to spread hope and healing to everyone affected by blood disorders.
Registering as a donor or making a financial donation will help to chart the path forward for the organisation and patients in need for years to come, she concluded.
If you would like to become a donor, contact the SABMR on 021 447-8638 or email: [emailprotected] Financial donations can also be made viawww.sabmr.co.za/donate
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