The SABMR is constantly looking to increase its database both in number as well as ethnic diversity. However, potential donors need to fulfil certain criteria relating to age and health. Kindly note that SABMR now allows applicants between the age of 16 and 45. If you are under the age of 18 please discuss applying to SABMR with your immediate family and contact our offices if you have any further questions prior to submitting your application.
Should your application be successful, SABMR will dispatch a Buccal swab (cheek swab) either via courier or make arrangement for an appointment to complete this all free of charge at one of our nearest depots. Please double check that all correspondence or branded material and kits dispatched or provided by the SABMR are branded South African Bone Marrow Registry.
Kindly also note that by completing this application you automatically opt in for follow up calls and emails to assist you in completing the entire application process.
- The Stem Cell Star Competition is conducted by the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR); registration number: NPC 2013/152553/08
- Please take a moment to review the rules. By your participation, you agree that these rules will govern all aspects of your relationship with the competition and competition-related agents, and the SABMR. These rules can only be modified (or superseded) by the SABMR (in its reasonable discretion) in a written revision to these rules posted on the SABMR website.
- No person who is a director, employee, sponsor or agent of or consultant to the SABMR or who is a spouse, life partner, parent, child, brother, sister, business partner, or associate to a director, employee or agent of or consultant to the SABMR is eligible to participate or enter this competition.
- This competition is only open to legal residents of the Republic of South Africa and Namibia.
- To enter the competition, a participant needs to register as an SABMR stem cell donor here or at any physical donor drives hosted by the SABMR. For a list of physical donor drives/events, follow the SABMR @sabonemreg
- The competition starts on 17 September 2022 and will run until the SABMR reaches 100 000 donors on their database. To keep track of donor registrations, you can follow the SABMR @sabonemreg
- Only one entry/registration per person will be accepted.
- The competition is limited to those aged between 16 and 45.
- No responsibility will be accepted for entries lost.
- Entries reflected as donor registrations on the SABMR database will be treated as the only validation source and will be the only evidence of successful entries.
- Once the SABMR reaches 100 000 donors on their database, the competition will end.
- Once the competition ends, a donor’s name will be drawn from the SABMR database. The winning donor will be randomly chosen via a certified method of selection.
- The prize will consist of a star being named after the winning donor. The winner will receive a star certificate, celestial map and other related promotional items.
- The winner will be announced seven working days after the draw has taken place.
- The prize is not transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash.
- In the event of the SABMR not being able to contact the winner it reserves the right to draw again.
- The SABMR is not responsible for any damaged prize items after signature of receipt.
- The prize may be subject to additional terms and conditions that the prize winner must comply with.
- The prize winner will be notified by telephone and/or e-mail and the prize winner’s names will be published on the SABMR social media channels.
- The prize winner may be requested to participate in publicity connected to this competition. The prize winner grants permission for the use of their names and photographs in any advertising and promotional material for this competition.
- Participants and the winner absolve the SABMR, its affiliates, its marketing agencies, advisors, suppliers, nominated agents and dealers from liability from any and all claims howsoever arising, including from wilful misconduct or negligent acts or omissions on the part of any such person.
- The SABMR reserves the right to alter or cancel the competition at its discretion, without recourse.
- The participant unconditionally and irrevocably indemnifies and holds harmless the SABMR and its successors, employees, officers, suppliers, contractors, agents, consultants, directors and shareholders against all and any losses, claims, proceedings, actions, damages, (direct, consequential or otherwise), liability, demands, expenses, legal costs (on an attorney and own client basis), medical costs or other costs howsoever arising out of, based upon, or in connection with (directly or indirectly) the participants participation in the competition, to the maximum extent permitted by law.
- If a participant contravenes these rules, the participant may, in the SABMR’s discretion, be disqualified from the competition.
- The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
- Income taxes relating to the prizes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the prize winner.
- The laws of the Republic of South Africa govern this competition.
- Participants in the competition understand and agree that in order to offer the competition; the SABMR must collect and use personal information about participants. This competition is conducted under the terms of applicable privacy statements. These terms and conditions are subject to change according to the SABMR’s discretion.
- These rules are the official rules of the competition. These rules (together with any official competition communications) will govern and apply to the competition.
The competition kicks off on World Marrow Donor Day, which is celebrated annually on the 3 rd Saturday of September. This year it falls on the 17 th of September. We hope that the competition will generate enough excitement among the public to help us get to 100 000 donors. Once we reach our target of 100 000 donor registrations, one lucky donor will be selected via a random draw and will have the unique opportunity to have an actual star named after them. The one in 100 000 figure is significant as it symbolises the odds of finding a tissue match. Currently, the chances of finding a stem cell match are around 1 in 100 000.
Yes, donors who are currently registered on our database automatically qualify for the prize, along with all new donors that sign up.
Everyone who are legal residents of South Africa that are between the ages of 16 and 45 can enter.
We are hoping to reach our target of 100 000 donor registrations (22 000 new registrations) within three months, but it could take a bit longer.
It will be promoted via various events (donor drives) across the country, as well as online and on social media. We will also keep registered donors updated on @sabonemreg as registration numbers climb. The winner will be announced across our social media channels a week after we’ve reached 100 000 registered donors.
We consider each of the 78 000 donors on our database as stars. Thanks to their selfless donation, many lives are saved annually, not just in South Africa, but around the globe.
Much like stars that are born in the same cluster share similar chemical signatures, which help scientists track the stars they are related to, so our donor searches help us to find genetic twins among humans that share matching DNA, no matter where in the world they are.
We are asking people to be a star in someone’s night sky by signing up to become a blood stem cell donor, starting this September.
The competition starts on World Marrow Donor Day, Saturday, 17 September and will run indefinitely until we reach our target of 100 000 donor registrations.
Given the unique nature of the competition, we hope to spread greater awareness around stem cell donation (what it entails, how easy it is to sign up, what happens when you’re a match for a patient etc and to dispel myths) among a wider audience. The competition provides a great incentive... Who wouldn’t want a star named after them?
Yes, the lucky donor’s name will be recorded on a star-naming registry. They will receive a certificate, as well as a celestial map with coordinates to locate their star.
Yes, they are and it’s a route we are exploring. However, the IAU uses a numerical system to catalogue stars, while star-naming registries allow the public to purchase stars and name them after someone special.
Yes, each donor that is added to the registry, increases the chances of a tissue match. In an ideal world, there should be a local donor waiting and ready to go when a South African patient needs a transplant, but unfortunately only 1% of the SA population are registered stem cell donors.
If we had more local donors, patients would also be helped quicker. Many patients who require a stem cell transplant, don’t have the luxury of time. They suffer from life-threatening illnesses such as leukemia, lymphoma, aplastic anemia and immune deficiency disorders that can claim their lives within the space of a few weeks or months. The sooner they have the transplant, the better their chances of survival.
To date, we (the SABMR) have saved the lives of more than 600 South African patients, but to put in perspective, only 25% of their donors have come from SA.
Indeed, in the last three decades, our couriers have travelled almost six times to the moon and back to collect blood stem cells for South African patients in need of a transplant. In total, we’ve clocked up 4.5 million km (4 413 692.8 km) since opening our doors.
A stem cell transplant replaces damaged blood cells with healthy ones. It can be used to treat conditions affecting the blood cells, such as leukaemia and lymphoma. Stem cells are special cells produced by bone marrow (a spongy tissue found in the centre of some bones) that can turn into different types of blood cells (red-, white blood cells and platelets). A stem cell transplant involves destroying unhealthy blood cells and replacing them with stem cells removed from the blood that are healthy.
Stem cell transplants are used to treat conditions in which the bone marrow is damaged and is no longer able to produce healthy blood cells. Transplants can also be carried out to replace blood cells that are damaged or destroyed as a result of intensive cancer treatment. Conditions that stem cell transplants can be used to treat include: severe aplastic anaemia (bone marrow failure), leukaemia – a type of cancer affecting white blood cells, lymphoma – another type of cancer affecting white blood cells, myeloma – cancer affecting cells called plasma cells, certain blood, immune system and metabolic disorders – examples include sickle cell anaemia, thalassaemia, severe combined
immunodeficiency (SCID) and Hurler syndrome.
A stem cell transplant will usually only be carried out if other treatments have not helped, the potential benefits of a transplant outweigh the risks and you're in relatively good health, despite your underlying condition.