Tag Archives: heroes


Seven years and counting…


What is the BMDP Charity Gala without Gerti Iwatake? Ever-ready to give her all, Gerti is a mix of blond glamour, German industry and most definitely Singaporean by friendships and association.

After organising three highly-successful galas for the BMDP, Gerti is now raring to go for the next one on March 23, 2013 at the Fullerton Hotel which targets to raise half a million dollars to go towards the tissue-typing of new bone marrow donors. As the chairperson of the Charity Gala organising committee, Gerti leads her team of like-minded heroes to give patients a better chance of survival through fund-raising for the BMDP.

“My committee members and I believe deeply in this local cause with its huge global impact. The challenge is to be successful year after year – to raise more funds and keep expanding the donor register,” said Gerti. Apart from her team’s support, Gerti reserves special praise for her daughter and husband – her pillars of comfort and encouragement. “They are happy that I can make a difference in the lives of others and I am grateful for their love and patience,” shares Gerti.

Gerti enjoys her work with the BMDP and that is evident from her standing in the local philanthropy and high society scene as well as the people she interacts with. “Nobody can fail to notice Gerti for the amazing energy and commitment she brings to the cause” said BMDP President, Jane Prior, “she’s our very own angel”.

Born in Germany, BMDP’s wunderwoman comes from a charity-oriented family and is an only child of a volunteer at the Red Cross, trained as a nurse. Looking back, she figures that must have rubbed off on her to do good for others. Gerti has come a long way since her childhood days and the well-dressed persona in public is definitely not afraid to roll up her sleeves and work long hours for charity. This work ethic she brings to the BMDP inspires those around her to give their all for the cause.

“The BMDP Charity Gala has become a key fixture on the local high society calendar and we are proud to be at the Fullerton Hotel next year. There will be all the ingredients of a fabulous night – entertainment, champagne, an auction and a lucky draw. Invite your friends and fill our ballroom; the more tables we sell, the more lives we can save!” exclaims Gerti. Next time you see her, be warned! Gerti is a woman on a mission.


Going for Gold…Meet Team BMDP!

From left: Izrin, Josephine, Jane, May, Joei, Christine

On the Olympic theme – I am really proud to introduce Team BMDP. We haven’t made headlines in the bodybuilding and definitely didn’t conquer the 1,000 metres or the show-jumping – but every single day, this is the team that pushes aside all possible hurdles that stand between our patients and getting that life-saving match.

It has been just a few months that we have all been working together; Izrin and Joei who work with the hospitals in Transplant Services, Josephine and Christine who keep our books and world in administrative order and May who leads our outreach into the community to recruit more donors.

As we go into August, Team BMDP has already delivered bone marrow or stem cells to more than 34 patients here in Singapore since the start of the year. Measured in parents and siblings, colleagues and playmates that is a lot of people in 34 personal communities who can celebrate being given a life-saving chance through Team BMDP finding a matching donor from our local register here in Singapore or from almost anywhere in the world.

Finding a match is just like winning the race and a cause for celebration – but the real heroes are our donors. So far this year we are half way to reaching our target of registering 5,000 new donors and with Cheek Swab Month just around the corner – that’s another race we are definitely planning to win!