Stem cell donor drive

The Sunflower Fund is a donor recruitment centre and stem cell registry that is part of a global network, dedicated to creating awareness about blood diseases and stem cell donation, recruiting blood stem cell donors and maintaining a registry of committed donors.

By registering as a blood stem cell donor, you could save a life.

“If you are between 18 and 45 years of age, weigh more than 50kg, have a BMI of less than 40 and are willing to help anyone for whom you may be a match, we would like to appeal to you to become a donor,” says Kim Webster, head of communications at The Sunflower Fund.

“The process to register takes less than 10 minutes and involves two test-tubes of blood being drawn.”

The blood samples are sent away for a DNA tissue-typing test and the results are captured on the registry.

There is no cost to register and no cost if you are a match for a patient and are called upon to donate.

“You can only ever donate once in your life, so you will stay on the registry until you’ve been a match for a patient or until the age of 60, whichever comes first,” said Ms Webster.

“We encourage all parents, friends and families of our members to consider registering as donors,” says Strandfontein AFC junior club chairperson, Natasha Hendricks.

All costs are covered with the funds donated by Andrew Patterson who has been climbing Table Mountain every day since the start of this year to raise funds for The Sunflower Fund and two other charities. If you wish to support The Sunflower Fund and give a cash donation you can SMS the word “Sunflower” to 40555 or visit www.sunflowerfund.org.za or call 0800 12 10 82.