Every year, thousands of people with leukemia, other blood diseases, and immune disorders reach a point where the only possible cure–and their only chance for survival–is a bone marrow transplant.one patients will have a compatible donor in their family, but for most, they’ll need a stranger’s help—a stranger with their exact type of bone marrow tissue. But with thousands of tissue types, finding that match is just a 1 in 100 000 chance. For some patients they may have inherited such unique tissue types that they may have an even a lower chance in finding a match and we will need more donors to find them a match.

So what is bone marrow? Well bone marrow is the tissue in the body where blood cells are produced. Blood cells are critical to a person’s immune system: they carry oxygen, fight infection, and prevent bleeding. A transplant replaces the patient’s diseased bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells, so that the patient can start producing healthy blood.

How can you help?

The SABMR is constantly looking to increase its database both in number as well as ethnic diversity. However, potential donors need to fulfill certain criteria relating to age and health are hard to come by. To start off you will need to be between the ages of 16 and 45, live a health lifestyle and weigh more than 50kgs. Follow this link to see exclusion criteria.

Should your application be successful, SABMR will dispatch a Buccal swab (cheek swab) either via courier or make arrangement for an appointment to complete this all free of charge at one of our nearest depots. Please double check that all correspondence or branded material and kits dispatched or provided by the SABMR are branded South African Bone Marrow Registry.

Once on the registry the SABMR will try to find you a match but for that to happen, a donor and patient must be found with a matching bone marrow tissue type amongst thousands of tissue types. Even with over 39 million donors registered around the world, many patients in desperate need do not find their donors in time, and do not survive.

Become a donor and save a life.