Sunflower Day is happening on Friday 21 September 2018. You can make a difference by buying a Sunflower Fund tope for only R30. Money raised from the sale of topes helps the Sunflower Fund in building the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR), which exists to find bone marrow stem cell donors for people who need a bone marrow stem cell transplant, such as those with leukaemia and other blood disorders and cancers.

This year, Sunflower Fund topes will be on sale from Pick n Pay, Zando and the Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA). In addition to raising much needed funds for the SABMR, topes are worn on Sunflower Day to show solidarity towards patients suffering from leukaemia, who lose their hair when undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

What used to be called a bone marrow transplant is now called a bone marrow stem cell transplant as nowadays they just extract stem cells, like a little bag of blood, from the donor and transplant them into the recipient and the stem cells find their way to the recipient’s bone marrow to produce new non-cancerous blood cells.

The testing of donors to find a match for a recipient is very expensive as there are so many possible variations in stem cell matching – each individual is almost unique. Even the initial tests done to register a stem cell donor on the SABMR are expensive and some people who are willing to be a donor, ie to donate stem cells from their bone marrow to save someone’s life, don’t have the funds to pay for the tests.

That’s where fundraising drives such as Sunflower Day come in. Every R30 helps the Sunflower Fund in recruiting potential bone marrow stem cell donors for the SABMR.

Do your bit by buying a Sunflower Fund tope for R30 and help make a difference. For more information, visit www.sunflowerfund.org.za.

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