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Help the South African Bone Marrow Registry to recruit new donors

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On the 30th of March 2019, Digital Media Producer and founder of Walking For Life, Darren Combrink (45) from Cape Town will complete as many laps as “humanly possible”, from Myog Frozen Yogurt in Kloof Street to Myog in Camps Bay for a cause close to his heart.

Since the launch of his Walking for Life initiative in January 2018, Darren has remained committed to supporting the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR), a public benefit organisation that matches critically ill children and adults in need of transplants with donor matches. He has thus far completed 6 projects, walking a total distance of 930 km.

Darren Combrinck
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With his Myog Challenge, Darren will pass through the famous mountain pass up Kloof Nek Road, the 24th steepest in South Africa and complete at least 6 laps, a distance of 32,4 kilometers, up the steep gradient to honor a young man’s plea to increase the SABMR’s donor database.

Robbie Eddles (17), a grade 11 student from Durban who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Anaemia at the age of 5 is currently waiting on a bone marrow donor match that could save his life

“I want there to be more donors. We are all each other’s tomorrow. Anyone can donate and should donate. If not for me, then do it for someone else.  Because when all is taken into consideration, I am because we are. What’s harder than leukaemia ? Seeing your loved ones experiencing it from the outside. And not being able to save you.” Robbie Eddles

Robbie Eddles
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Echoing Robbie’s message, that has since encouraged over 7000 new donor applications, Darren launched a crowdfunding campaign on donations based crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy, to appeal to the public to help cover the costs of donor recruitment, which costs around R2000 per recipient, at no cost to the donor.

The campaign went live on BackaBuddy on the 26 February 2019 has thus far raised  R68,106.64 with contributions from 364 donors.

Darren hopes the public will continue supporting his BackaBuddy campaign for people like Robbie

“Robbie is a brave, intelligent, funny, kind and incredibly loving human being, who is sadly living on the verge. His bone marrow is 90% leukemic and he doesn’t have a matching donor. Without a bone marrow match, he is running out of time. I hope my campaign will be a beacon of hope for this young man and so many others in a similar situation. I would like to challenge the people of South Africa to join us, become a donor and support our BackaBuddy campaign!” says Darren Combrink

There are currently only 73 000 donors registered to cater for over 57 million South Africans

“Every year, hundreds of South Africans with blood diseases such as leukaemia reach the point where their only chance of survival is a bone marrow transplant. For about 30% of patients, a matched donor can be found in their own family; for the other 70%, their only hope is to find a matched unrelated donor identified by our database.” says Sustainability Portfolio Manager at the SABMR, Kamiel Singh.

Kamiel Singh
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There’s an even greater need for donors of African descent, says Kamiel, a message highlighted by Freshlyground lead singer, Zolani Mahola, who became a bone marrow donor 2 years ago after her friend’s passing.

“As a nation, we have a rich history of Ubuntu and we must continually find new ways of expressing it. With many of our donors coming from overseas, we need more donors of African descent. With the procedure itself not being the onerous and painful task it used to be, we have so much potential to make a difference at home” says Zolani

Zolani Mahola
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Donate on BackaBuddy to support The South African Bone Marrow Registry in recruiting new donors HERE.

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