Join the stem cell registry – Berea Mail

Nicolene Moonsamy. Sheena Dhunlal and Stephanie Berry encourage people to attend the blood stem cell donor drive.

THE number of patients diagnosed with blood diseases is on the rise, with 75 per cent of those diagnosed under the age of 25 years.

For most of these patients, a blood stem cell transplant is their only hope of cure.

Lenmed Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre is partnering with The Sunflower Fund to host a blood stem cell donor drive on 27 November at 9.30am to recruit well informed and committed donors onto The Sunflower Fund Registry, The drive will take place in the auditorium on the fourth floor until 3pm.

Leukaemia, aplastic anaemia and immune deficiencies are among the few blood conditions that we treat in our practise and can be managed with a blood stem cell transplant. Stem cells make up the component that your immune system needs to function. During the transplant your body is rescued with an infusion of healthy blood stem cells, explained Dr Keshnie Moodley, treating specialist paediatrician and haematologist at KIDZCAN based at Lenmed Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre.

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The chances of finding this match is 1:100 000 and the best chance of a match is within your same ethnic background. There is only a 25 per cent chance that a sibling will be a match. The remaining 75 per cent chance depends on an unrelated matching donor being found. Patients of colour and mixed ethnicity around the world are at a disadvantage due to the under-representation of Black, Coloured, Indian and Asian donors in the global donor pool.

As such The Sunflower Fund proactively creates awareness and education about blood diseases as well as the process involved in becoming a blood stem cell donor. We remain a registry of donors that is representative of the people groups in our rainbow nation, who are willing to help anyone for whom they might be a match, said Stephanie Berry from The Sunflower Fund.

To attend the drive on 27 November, contact Xolani Hlongwane on 079 261 2664 or email: [emailprotected]

To become a blood stem cell donor, visit: http://www.sunflowerfund.org.

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Join the stem cell registry - Berea Mail

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