World Marrow Donor Day (WMDD) is celebrated globally on the third Saturday of September being 15 September this year.
This is a unique day to thank all 32 million volunteer donors and in particular our South African donors, who have signed up to donate blood stem cells for patients in need of a transplant.
Annually, thousands of patients receive blood stem cells from a healthy individual somewhere in the world. Unfortunately, a potential match is not always found. Especially for patients with mixed race or from ethnic minorities it is difficult to find a matching donor, because those donors are merely lacking from the global register. In South Africa local donors of African heritage in particular are needed with currently fewer than 7000 registered donors to a 72 000 strong database. Therefore, more (diverse) volunteer donors are needed to sign up as a potential heroes.
The secondary objective is to raise awareness among the general public and decision-makers about being a stem cell donor and the impact of blood stem cell transplantation on patients’ lives. For many children and adults in need of a transplant we are unable to find a match within the global registry and therefore, more potential volunteer donors need to be recruited.
During the month of September and 2018, SABMR, the only fully accredited stem cell registry in South Africa will roll out various initiatives to celebrate the tremendous contributions of our donors. Stay connected and get involved by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.