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The Bone Marrow Register
Building the bone marrow register
Leukaemia is a major killer of children under the age of 15 and a bone marrow transplant may offer the only hope of a cure for many of these patients. While the odds of matching a patient with his or her siblings are 1 in 4, and for those patients without a sibling donor, the chances of finding an unrelated match are as low as 1 in 20,000.
Since it started in 1993, the BMDP has recruited more than 48,000 donors onto the register, facilitated 8,500 searches and found nearly 212 successful matches for patients both locally and abroad.
Tissue typing from a single drop of blood (or a buccal swab from the side of the mouth) which is collected from the volunteer donor is the first step towards building the register. However, this process is complex and expensive. Currently, the cost of testing each new donor is S$150 which means we need to raise this amount of money to pay for each new donor we recruit.
As the only bone-marrow donor register in Singapore, the BMDP is committed to improving the chances of survival for patients who need a bone marrow transplant in order to survive. Towards this end, we are targeting to expand the register by 5000 donors each year. This will dramatically improve the chances of finding a compatible match for our patients.
5,000 new donors recruited each year means the BMDP will have to raise S$750,000 to fund the costs of tissue typing newly registered volunteer donors alone.