We were thrilled to hear that the SABMR had won the Grand Prize for World Marrow Donor Day 2018!
World Marrow Donor Day is a global celebration, held on the third Saturday every September, where all donors are thanked for their willingness to donate. The SABMR marked the occasion with multiple campaigns: Groote Schuur Hospital, our ‘home’, was lit up in turquoise, our brand colour, for the two weeks surrounding World Marrow Donor Day. Besides media coverage, a dedicated website page and a microsite, we organised a festive ‘cake-off’ with Groote Schuur Hospital staff, and a PSI Global Challenge with PSI CRO (Centurion), to encourage their staff to register as donors. Three influencers spread our message during September: rugby captain Siya Kolisi, personality Siv Ngesi and radio presented Reinhard Ludick. Also, ‘Bikers for Bone Marrow’ was held on Sunday 16 September 2018: the Cape Town Motorcycle Club, who first became involved with the SABMR in 1996 when a club member was diagnosed with leukaemia, held a 200km drive to scenic Grabouw to spread awareness, riders and bikes decked out in the WMDD and SABMR signature turquoise ribbons.
The Originality Prize was won by the Romanian registry, Registrul National al Donatorilor Voluntari de Celule Stem Hematopoietice, for their moving outdoor light display: view it here; and the Incentive Prize was won by Canadian Blood Services for their ‘Click, click, CAPE!’ campaign. SABMR took the Grand Prize for our multi-faceted campaign.
This year, World Marrow Donor Day will be held on Saturday 21 September. See our website and Facebook page for details of our forthcoming campaign.
Another achievement: Full WMDA Accreditation granted
Following our World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) Qualification, the SABMR was granted full WMDA Accreditation in June 2018. ‘This is an international standard of care that all stem-cell registries worldwide strive to attain,’ says Dr Charlotte Ingram, Medical Director of the SABMR.
Besides being the only accredited stem-cell registry in Africa, the SABMR is now the first stem-cell registry worldwide to be granted full WMDA accreditation within two years, the minimum timeline prescribed for the process by the WMDA. ‘It was very much a team effort, but largely driven by Terry Schlaphoff, our Deputy Director, and Veronica Borrill, former International Search and Harvest Coordinator,’ says Dr Ingram. The final audit, which led to full Accreditation, included an onsite visit by two reviewers of the WMDA Accreditation Program. Accreditation is part of an ongoing programme: the SABMR will be re-evaluated in two years’ time, with an onsite inspection two years after that.
Lydia Foeken, Executive Director of the WMDA, said, ‘Obtaining accreditation is hard work and the process can take several years. It’s very impressive that the SABMR managed to get accredited within the minimum period of two years. This indicates their dedication and determination to show the world they are a true example of excellent care.’
Based in Leiden, the Netherlands, the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) is made up of organisations and individuals who promote global collaboration and best practices for the benefit of stem-cell donors and transplant patients.
The Patient Assistance Programme launches
In November 2018, we launched the SABMR’s Patient Assistance Programme. Its objective is to support those patients who lack the financial resources to cover the donor-related costs of a bone-marrow transplant, as our goal is to ensure that every adult and child referred to us can have the best chance of getting a transplant and going on to lead a full, healthy life. Support is allocated towards the costs of the search and the testing of local donors, and is extended to cover procurement of the stem cells should a suitably matched donor be identified on the SABMR.
Between 1 December 2018 and 14 February 2019 we ran the highly successful ‘Give a Little, Save a Life’ campaign, which raised R185,000 for our Patient Assistance Programme. Thanks to 22 generous sponsors, participants stood the chance of winning fabulous prizes worth a total of almost R100,000, including getaways, spa experiences, golf days, wine, restaurant meals and more.
All proceeds went to help four young patients from the Programme in urgent need of support: a 10-year-old girl with leukaemia, referred by doctors at a state hospital in the Eastern Cape; an eight-year-old boy with a hereditary form of anaemia, being treated at a state hospital in the Western Cape; a 10-year-old boy, and an elderly male.
Click here to make a financial contribution to the Patient Assistance Programme.