The Sunflower Fund fights blood diseases like Leukaemia. They do this by recruiting donors (like you!) to sign up to the registry. For more information you can visit their website or call them on the toll free number (SA only) 0800 12 10 82.
Sign up today, to save a life!
How can I help?
Every year thousands of South Africans of all ages and races are diagnosed with blood conditions like leukaemia aplastic anaemia and other rare conditions. The ONLY way they can be saved, is with a blood stem cell transplant from someone like you.
“Why me?” you may ask. There are only a few matches in the world who can donate to each other. If you get leukemia, your family may not even be the right match – it could be a stranger in a different province, or even a different country. The odds of finding a match are about 1 in 100 000 – could it be YOU!? You may well be the only one in the world who could save a life, because of your unique blood type.
Who do we need as donors?
If you are healthy, and between 18 and 45, you can be a donor! “Tissue-types” are inherited characteristics, and this is what is used to match donors and patients.
Why are unrelated donors needed?
Usually, family members are suitable donors, but only 1 in 4 patients have siblings whose blood type match!
How are donors and patients matched?
There are many different types of white blood cells. We would need to draw your blood, and categorize your white blood cells to see if there’s a patient in need of your type. And, because there are so many different types, we need to get a lot of volunteers to find one match.
How are stem cells donated?
The process is very similar to the blood donation process: we need to draw your blood, and then run it through some processes in the lab to prepare it for the patient. The main difference is that it take a bit longer than donating blood (about 4 to 6 hours).
Are there any side effects for the donor?
You could have some flu-like symptoms, and a small percentage of donors complain of some bone pain after the donation – but this pain goes away, and they’re back to normal. A small price to pay for saving a life!
Where would I donate?
The medical procedure to draw your stem cells is called a harvest. If we tested your blood, and we found a match, you will be asked to donate, by attending a specialist harvest centre in South Africa. This will not cost you a cent: only a little discomfort and your time!
Is a transplant a definite cure?
There is a definite chance that your blood can cure someone, but unfortunately it’s not a 100% guarantee. The world of blood conditions is complicated, and many patients still die due to complications. However, without your transplant, they have no hope of survival.
Where can I join?
If you want to donate, request your HR department to arrange a drive at your work, where The Sunflower Fund will recruit anyone in your office as donors: Rally up your colleagues, and do something amazing for another fellow South African!
Otherwise, you can register telephonically via our call centre: 0800-12-10-82