26 cyclists from Johannesburg are raising R100,000 to help pay for 2000 new swab kits, which will expand the South African Bone Marrow Registry database.
Johannesburg, South Africa (17 November 2021) – This Sunday, the 21st of November, 26 cyclists from Johannesburg will participate in the 94.7 Ride Joburg “Ride for a Purpose“. The group of individuals will ride to support the South African Bone Marrow Registry. They have been raising funds to support the organisation’s Patient Assistance Programme.
Cycling a distance of 94km, the 26 cycling champions hope to raise R100 000 collectively by crowdfunding on BackaBuddy, to cover the costs of 50 swab test kits used to recruit new donors and expand the SABMR database.
To date, the SABMR has helped save the lives of 550 patients with life-threatening blood disorders by matching them with healthy, unrelated bone marrow donors from South Africa and the rest of the world.
With 39 million registered donors worldwide, but as more people are diagnosed with blood disorders, the donor list must expand too. This is vital so people can find their perfect match.
In South Africa, bone marrow donation organisations have been raising awareness about the importance of diversity in donors. Ethnicity plays a vital role in finding a donor as donor matches come from within your own ethnic grouping. South Africa is a prime and unique example of mixed inherited diversity, making finding a suitable match for a patient in need even more difficult.
A patient has a 1 in 100 000 chance of finding a suitable donor match. These odds are even further reduced for patients of colour to 1 in 400 000 as there is a lack of donors of colour not only on our local registry but globally. Hence, spurring everyone who is eligible to sign up and donate to give patients a second chance at life they so deserve.
“Bone marrow-related diseases is not a mystery, it is a solvable challenge. There are however many patients in need of stem cell transplant to offer them the best chance of survival. The solution: we must get everyone in the world on a registry to give them the best chance. Starting in South Africa.” – says Dr Charlotte Ingram
As a non-profit public benefit organisation, the SABMR relies heavily on financial donations to cover donor recruitment costs, which costs around R2000 per swab test kit. Registering to become a bone marrow donor costs nothing as SABMR absorbs all the costs to ensure as many people as possible join the registry.
The reason the price is so high is that each kit needs to be sent to an international laboratory for tissue-typing. The results are then placed on the SABMR’s database, to which donor registries worldwide have access.
According to SABMR, Head of Sustainability and National Operations Kamiel Singh, only 74 000 donors are registered on the SABMR’s database to cater to over 59.3 million South Africans.
“Every year, hundreds of South Africans with blood diseases such as leukemia reach the point where their only chance of survival is a bone marrow transplant. For about 30% of patients, a matched donor can be found in their own family; for the other 70%, their only hope is to find a matched unrelated donor identified by the SABMR.” – says Head of Sustainability and National Operations, Kamiel Singh.
Combined, the 26 cyclists have raised almost R60 000 towards their fundraising target of R100 000 with contributions from 142 donors.
To support one of the SABMR’s 26 cyclists on Backabuddy, donate here.
*All funds raised will be managed by the SABMR. Donors will also be eligible for a Section 18A tax certificate issued by the organisation.