cycle challenge

Pedalling for a purpose, 17 riders take on the 94.7 Discovery Ride Joburg to raise funds for South African Bone Marrow Registry.


Johannesburg, South Africa – On the 17th of November 2019, 17 cyclists will take part in the 94.7 Discovery Ride Joburg to raise funds for the South African Bone Marrow Registry. Collectively their goal is to put foot to pedal to raise awareness as well as funds towards the SABMR donor recruitment.

To date, the SABMR has helped save the lives of nearly 500 patients with life-threatening blood disorders by matching them with healthy, unrelated bone marrow donors from South Africa and the rest of the world.

Currently, there are 36 million registered donors worldwide and counting. However, Bone Marrow is related to heritage; because of our mixed inherited diversity, each patient has a 1 in 100 000 chance in finding a suitable matching donor. There are always patients who need a donor.

“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.” – Dr Charlotte Ingram

As a non-profit public benefit organisation, the SABMR relies heavily on financial donations to cover the costs of donor recruitment which costs around R2000 per swab test kit. Each kit needs to be sent away to laboratories for tissue-typing before the results are placed on an international on-line registry.

To support the SABMR raising funds for donor recruitment, 17 cyclists from Johannesburg are taking on the Discovery 94.7 Ride Joburg this weekend, cycling a distance of 94kmin hopes to raise R300 000 for the organisation.

Funds raised by the crowdfunding campaign launched on donations based crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy, will help cover the costs of 150 swab test kits, used to recruit new donors and expand the SABMR database.

Meet the cyclists for the Discovery 94.7 Ride Joburg.

Francois De Jonge (30), a humanitarian pilot, originally from Pretoria, is taking on the 947 in hopes to highlight the importance of donor recruitment. With his crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy, he has already raised a total of R15 017.76.

“I am getting ready to ride the 947 to create much-needed awareness for the South African Bone Marrow Registry and the amazing work they do. I shall be riding every single kilometer not to prove anything to myself, but to root for a worthy cause which deserves much more recognition. It is my belief that small actions coupled with a lot of people can create a lot of change.” says Francois

Christine Roos (28) from Benoni, is admittedly not a pro-cyclist, but is looking forward to taking on the 94.7 as part of the SABMR fundraising team. Her crowdfunding campaign on Backabuddy has thus far raised R6 864.21 to support the organisation.

“I’m really passionate about the SABMR because we can all make a massive difference to the lives of those who have no control of their health. Be so grateful for your life that your generosity spills over and makes a difference in the life of someone else who truly needs it! I am really looking forward to the race and hope this is the start to raising awareness for the SABMR.” – says Christine

Unable to become a bone marrow donor due to health concerns, Emma Flanagan (25) from Parkview, Johannesburg, is also taking on the 94.7 cycle challenge to support the SABMR.

“I have always wanted to give back to the SABMR, however, I am unfortunately not able to become a bone marrow donor due to a blood clotting disorder that I inherited. The organisation is so close to my heart because I have lost so many people in my life to diseases like cancer. If I can just help one person survive it would be an honour.” says Emma

Emma’s crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy has thus far raised a total of R5 589.19 in preparation for the event.

To support any one of the SABMR cyclists on Backabuddy, donate here:

Combined, the cyclists have raised R68 444.88 towards their fundraising target of R300 000 with contributions from 125 donors. *All funds raised will be managed by the SABMR. Donors will also be eligible for a Section 18A tax certificate issued by the organisation.

Become a Bone Marrow donor

According to SABMR, Sustainability Portfolio Manager, Kamiel Singh, there are currently only 74 000 donors registered on the site to cater to over 57 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 Sustainability Portfolio Manager at the SABMR, Kamiel Singh.

Register to become a Bone Marrow donor with the South African Bone Marrow Registry here:

Sources: BackaBuddy Supplied
Don’t ever miss the Good Things. Download the Good Things Guy App now on Apple or Google
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens or share your good news with us by clicking here
Click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast, with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:
Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll hopefully leave you feeling a little more proudly South African. 

Facebook Comments

Tyler Leigh Vivier
About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *