For three years, students from Victoria Junior College worked with the BMDP to spread the word about our life-saving cause and help us recruit more donors. They learned that blood diseases can strike anyone at any time and that leukaemia and lymphoma are not lifestyle diseases caused by the patient’s behaviour. Nonetheless, it was still a huge shock when one of their schoolmates was diagnosed with leukaemia. When chemotherapy failed to stop the very aggressive spread of the cancer cells, a bone marrow transplant – something they had all learned about from the BMDP – was her last and ONLY chance at survival.
Fortunately the BMDP was able to find a matching bone marrow donor for this young student and we hope that life will resume after her treatment. For her classmates, it showed how a disaster can be averted with advance planning.
Fired up by this close encounter and a real-life lesson that bad things do happen to absolutely anyone, the student leaders campaigned passionately for the BMDP, forming the “International Awareness” Club. The leaders engaged the students through a campus-wide game to illustrate the helplessness and difficulties that patients often face when searching for a matching bone marrow donor and of course, continued their drive to get more donors signed up.
“Through this whole experience, our team fully understood the challenges and that it is really an uphill task to find a match. We are proud to have played our part in helping our schoolmate and also other people in the future who may need find a match”, said one of the student leaders.
While many of the second year Victorians had already signed up last year, the campus donor drive was still a huge success and 309 new bone marrow donors were recruited during the 2 days drive in school.
Way to go Victorians!