Hi everyone, it’s ThembaTee!
For the last year, I’ve been sharing some of my favourite SABMR stories with you, introducing you to the miracle patients who survived impossible odds and the selfless donors who helped make those miracles happen.
This month marks the end of the SABMR’s 30th Year anniversary. And to wrap up what has been a beautiful journey with you all, I wanted to share a few special words from the leader of our organisation, SABMR’s Medical Director Dr. Charlotte Ingram. Dr. Ingram wrote this letter to commemorate our Registry’s big birthday, and I think it encompasses so much of the hope and passion shared by everyone here at the Registry.
Thank you all for welcoming me with open arms, and for joining me as we looked back on some of the incredible people who fought for their lives, and the donors who gave so selflessly to help them.
I am so grateful that you took time every month to read our stories. It means a lot to all of us. We hope that you will share the word and inform your friends and family members to register, to increase the chances that we can save lives!
Give us a follow on Facebook and Instagram to keep updated on the great work of the SABMR, and in case you missed any of our blog posts, check out our blog homepage, where you can find all of the patient and donor stories I shared with you over the course of the past year.
With love, ThembaTee
A note from Dr. Charlotte Ingram
SABMR Medical Director & CEO
Every year, thousands of people with blood cancers, diseases and disorders reach a critical point where the only possible cure for their condition is a bone marrow transplant. Most patients do not have a compatible family donor, and that is when the call comes to a bone marrow donor registry to help source a compatible unrelated donor. The South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR) was founded in Cape Town in 1991 with a single mission: to save lives by helping more patients in need of a bone marrow transplant find their miracle match.
Through these stories, we’ve looked back on our thirty-year history but also forward towards our collective future. Since our Registry’s conception, we’ve connected hundreds of South African patients—and many international patients—with their lifesaving donors, provided support to patients and their loved ones throughout their transplant journey, participated in international dialogue and research, and tirelessly expanded the donor pool to increase the chances that every patient has hope of finding a donor. Internationally accredited with the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) since 2018, we look forward to sharing our knowledge with and learning from our colleagues at fellow registries around the world.
We continue to move closer to our goal of 100 000 registered South African donors. The registration of more donors remains a top priority, with a particular effort towards making the Registry more representative of South Africa’s wonderful diversity. We pledge to remain focused and agile, adapting to the ever-changing needs of our communities and new technologies in the field to better serve both our patients and donors.
It is a great honour to head an organisation with a distinguished history and promising future. I have great appreciation for the Registry’s current staff as well as our predecessors, who laid the robust foundation on which the Registry’s pillars continue to rise. The SABMR’s impact is both local and global, thanks to collaboration between our dedicated team, our fellow registries and a growing network of transplant physicians, haematologists, and oncologists in South Africa and beyond.
Our strength rests in our community. Our donors, partners, and supporters enable us to keep moving forward and keep serving those in desperate need. With your help, we can give hope to every patient in need of a bone marrow transplant, not just in South Africa, but worldwide. We are honoured to work with you and for you.
Together, we will continue to innovate, inspire, and give the gift of life.
Dr. Charlotte Ingram
Medical Director & CEO