Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Sunflower Fund

As we approach the second Christmas that God has granted Nika since she was first diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia, I sat and folded the Sunfower Fund’s bandanna for tomorrow’s Giving Thanks Day at Bosasa. My thoughts were on Nika who this Christmas is doing exceptionally well compared to last year February when she was diagnosed with this life threating blood disorder.

Nika’s options to live were very slim in South Africa, thankfully her parents managed to get her booked into the Toronto Children’s Hospital and she was flown over as soon as she was stable. The Northern American Bone Marrow Register is so much larger than the South African one which increased her chance of finding a bone marrow match.

Last year for Nika had been an up and down in the hands of God and the talented staff of the Toronto Children’s Hospital type of year. This year she slowly improved and now Nika is nearly normal little girl who has been though a lot.

So now we get to Nika’s blessed second Christmas since her journey with Aplastic Anemia started, I plead you to help get our South African Bone Marrow Registry bigger. Many South African children need you to register so there might be a slim chance that they would have many more Christmases too. If you are committed to helping; are between the ages of 18 and 45; in general good health; over 50kg with a Body Mass Index higher than 35; and prepared to remain on the register until you are 60 years of age then please why are you waiting?
  1. Call 0800 12 10 82 or 0210661
  2. Answer medical questions and if you are eligible then
  3. You will be directed to your nearest recruitment clinic
  4. Two vials of blood will be drawn
  5. Blood would be tested and results put on the register
  6. The South African Bone Marrow Registry will post you your card in 6-8 weeks
That simple. Oops I forgot that the Postal Services are still on strike. Oh well don’t let that stop you.

Please note, small print time, to narrow any complications with the bone marrow the South African Bone Marrow Registry asks that if you not register if you think need an HIV test; have been exposed to hepatitis or HIV by contact with family or work; have injected yourself even once with illegal or non-prescription drugs; lead an unsafe sexual lifestyle; get regular tattoos or piercings; are pregnant or have had a baby in the last year; have had cancer; and have a phobia for needles.

They say finding a match is 1:100,000 in South Africa so please pick up the phone 0800 12 10 82.

At first I thought that if they find me as a match to someone I would have to go through operations but the Sunflower Fund has told me that it is a process of 4 to 6 hours which they draw blood from your arm into a cell separator machine which extracts your bone marrow from your blood and returned back into you. Plus it is at no charge to you as all costs are picked up through donations. So no skin off your nose. Get registered and help save a life!

That is all I have to say other than to continue folding hundreds of the Sunflower Fund’s bandanna with Mkuseli, Ilana, Mpho, and Noma.

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