Imagine Being Diagnosed With Leukaemia…

Today is National Bandanna Day and so we’re being bombarded with images of the bandanna’s  as well as stories on the news and other documentary type shows about Leukemia and importance of our bone marrow registry.

The stories really touched me. Its odd how one experiences situations when you become a parent. I always thought that having a child diagnosed or die from Leukemia must be simply indescribable but now having Ava, it takes those emotions and how I relate to those parents to a totally new level.

Walter and I watched these shows and were both wondering how they get the bone marrow out of a donor, when they explained how simple the process is, similar to donating blood, no anesthesia, no trauma and back at work the following day, we both felt that it was something we wanted to do. We want to be approved donors on the registry.

I phoned the Sunflower Foundation this morning and started the application process. Its so simple really, you phone them, answer a questionnaire, they take down your details, issue you with a reference number and the location of your nearest lab and off you go. If you can’t afford the blood test, which is R1 000, they will sponsor the blood test for you and then once your blood work is completed you go onto the registry and wait to be matched. The odd’s of being matched are only 1 in 100 000 but still, you have a chance to save someones life.

I’m a little disappointed, I meet all the criteria  except one, I need to phone them back in December as you can’t have had a tattoo or piercing in the last 3 – 6 months.

There couldn’t possibly be a greater gift than that, so if any of you are interested, please phone them on 0800 12 10 82!

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  • Reply marina1605

    Ludgero and I have been donors for about 4 years now. A close friend of ours was diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2006 and underwent gruelling treatments of chemo and radiation. Then he needed a bone marrow transplant and so began the drive to have all his family, friends, etc registered with the sunflower fund. If I remember correctly, the blood test cost about R200 then, can’t believe it costs R1,000 now! Wow!! A match was never found in SA, but they did find a donor match in Europe and bone marrow transplant was a success. Today our friend is healthy and in remition, thanks to this miracle. We’re still on the register and should either of us be found to be a match for anyone, we’ll be more than happy to assist. This is life-saving stuff!! Amazing.

    October 12, 2010 at 1:28 pm
  • Reply tiina1977

    That sounds great Sharon, my hat off to you guys. My sister died of acute leukemia and we could not find a bone marrow donor on time for her, none of us family members were a match. Due to my recent medical complications I can’t donate but my husband is going to register as soon as he is back from his trip. God bless you.

    October 12, 2010 at 2:24 pm
  • Reply merphin

    Well done to you both!!! You may never get that call, but if you aren’t registered you will never know you may have been able to change someone else’s life for the better!
    I am on the NZ register – no calls as yet, but maybe one day 😀 Too many people (incl kids) die from this group of diseases!

    October 13, 2010 at 6:59 am
  • Reply lea2109

    What a great decision, thank you Sharon! We were fortunate that Bianca didn’t require a bone marrow transplant but one of her little friends did and he is doing so well after the transplant.

    Finding that 100% match is so important and so the more people that are on the registry the better the chances for the patient.

    October 13, 2010 at 7:21 am
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