Cheek Swab month grew out of the idea of ‘Cheek Swab Day’ – a one-day campaign where organisations in Singapore came together to raise awareness and recruit donors within their own organisations.

The first ‘Cheek Swab Day’ was held in May 2012 at NTUC Centre. The brainchild of Terence Quek, CEO of Emergenetics International, it received full support from Young NTUC, HP Singapore, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Emergenetics International, Right Impact Training, Nails and Brows, Petmart, South West Community Development Council, and People’s Association Youth Movement (PAYM).

I was first inspired by the story of an American-born Chinese woman (Ms Janet Liang) suffering from acute leukaemia and how her friends rallied to help her find a matching bone marrow donor through roadshows and social media ( Then I discovered we have local patients in exactly the same position and so wanted to rally Singaporeans to come forward to help Singaporeans and others suffering from blood-related diseases like Janet. Everyone has the power to save someone’s life just by donating our bone marrow and it’s such a simple gesture.
– Terence Quek

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