One hero, two patients and hundreds of new donors

2013-07-26 • Comments
Get Well Soon to Father Luke from the Raffles team pictured here with Mrs Nikki Perry
Get Well Soon to Father Luke from the Raffles team pictured here with Mrs Nikki Perry

 

It has been a HUGE WEEK here in the world of the BMDP. We held donor drives simultaneously at Raffles Institution and Ngee Ann Polytechnic where more than 600 students signed up with us; and we delivered blood stem cells to two patients including Father Luke Fong who has shared his search for a donor with many friends and followers of his blog.

So that’s two special people who can now focus on getting well again – and around 600 students who can feel proud of themselves for doing something that could literally save a life in the future…

Working with Raffles Institution is always special and the partnership with the BMDP goes back to the very earliest days. In fact, our very first bone marrow donor here in Singapore comes from RJC. Not surprising that donor recruitment had its own flavor with specially designed t-shirts all sold to raise funds for the BMDP and the organizing committee took some time out to send Fr Luke a special Get Well message.

Another highlight of the week was attending an award dinner where Professor Quah Thuan Chong was recognized for his work in paediatric bone marrow transplants at the National University Hospital. Always my hero, I reminded him of a brief moment we shared some 17 years ago when he told me that my son would need a transplant to survive… but we were “lucky”, because we were Caucasian and there were much larger and better established donor registers in the UK and US.

It was a defining moment and in the years since has been a reminder that there is still work to do educating the market and reaching out to new donors so that one day everyone will be as lucky as we were – and the BMDP will find a donor for every patient who needs a life-saving transplant.