FC Tafelzucht and the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SAMBR), an NGO that aims to assist patients that have leukaemia and other blood disorders. have joined forces in their respective goals to provide youngsters the opportunity to play ball and to encourage people to consider signing up as stem cell donors.
The club’s under-10s will sport their new sponsored kit bearing the SABMR’s logo on the front, at the upcoming Wynberg St Johns junior tournament. In turn, Tafelzucht will help the drive to get people to register as potential donors and to increase awareness around leukaemia.The registry kicked off a campaign to register new donors during junior soccer matches at Westridge, at the weekend.
“We would like to find donors and especially people of colour as 70% of donors on our registry are white,” said SAMBR donor recruiter Gaelen Naidoo, speaking on behalf of the registry.
“South Africa is a very diverse country hence the importance of growing a donor database that can assist people with leukaemia from different ethnic groups. The chances of your sibling or family member being a match is only 30%, most patients receive stem cells from a stranger who has signed up to become a donor,” he said.
“Soccer is a sport that brings people from all different ethnic groups together. We see great potential in having a partnership with FC Tafelzucht as it shows that SABMR is dedicated to supporting locally and also educating people about the importance of stem cell donation as most people are misinformed when it comes to stem cell donations,” Naidoo said.
“We’re looking forward to our partnership with Tafelzucht as we continue to save lives.”
FC Tafelzucht chairman, Kenneth Hendricks, said the club’s executive committee didn’t think twice when asked to join hands with the SAMBR. “This initiative started when our under-10 coach came and asked how we as a community and club can assist in spreading awareness about bone marrow (transplants) which I only heard of,” he said.
“Our vision is to spread this awareness to other clubs and local football associations (LFAs) so that we can all benefit from the SABMR awareness drive and whatever other incentives they may have. Let’s start small and help those who so desperately need what we take for granted,” he said.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sabmr.co.za or, call 021 447 8638.