Tag Archives: register

Dr Yvonne Loh (formerly the Medical Director of the Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant programme in SGH) depends on the BMDP to deliver matching donors for her patients from around the region.

Running a Marrow-thon for transplants

INTRODUCING SINGAPORE'S NEWEST TRANSPLANT FACILITY at Gleneagles Hospital!
INTRODUCING SINGAPORE’S NEWEST TRANSPLANT FACILITY at Gleneagles Hospital!

Dr Yvonne Loh, a leading transplant physician [Haematologist and Medical Director of the Asian Centre for Blood & Bone Marrow Transplantation (ACBBMT) at Gleneagles Hospital] and dedicated board member at the BMDP, gives her take on bone marrow transplants (BMT) in Singapore.

Over the last five to 10 years, bone marrow transplants have increasingly been offered to older patients as reduced intensity regimens are preferred. With transplant doctors at the various transplant centres gaining more experience, the confidence to offer transplants to patients increases. Coupled with a growing and aging population, this contributes to more cases of blood cancers and other conditions that might potentially benefit from BMTs.

It is these burgeoning issues that make the BMDP’s work extremely relevant in today’s context. As a committee member at the BMDP, Dr Loh has first-hand knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes during a donor search and how she can contribute to its swift success. Likewise, on an executive level, participating in decision-making exercises enables her to play a crucial role in enhancing the BMDP’s daily life-saving processes.

Not one to mince her words, Dr Loh feels that the understanding and awareness of BMT is limited, even among medical practitioners in Singapore. “This may lead to late referrals for treatment in patients that might need a BMT and compromise the chance of a cure”, explained Dr Loh. With Singapore being the medical hub of the region, the BMDP shares in the responsibility of upholding this mantle by growing and maintaining the only local register of bone marrow donors as well as raising awareness for the cause.

Outside of work, Dr Loh is ever-passionate to combine her hobbies with meaningful events in the pursuit of making a difference in the lives of others. She is an avid marathoner who raises money for worthy causes such as the BMDP and consistently ranks among the top 10-20% of women participants at most 21/42km races.

“Other than running marathons, I decided to pick up cycling late last year and completed my first bike race – the OCBC Cycle Singapore 2013 to raise awareness and funds for needy transplant patients”, concluded Dr Loh. Now, who wouldn’t want a fighter in their corner – a doctor who pushes the envelope for her patients!

Dr Yvonne Loh (formerly the Medical Director of the Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant programme in SGH) depends on the BMDP to deliver matching donors for her patients from around the region.
Dr Yvonne Loh (formerly the Medical Director of the Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant programme in SGH) depends on the BMDP to deliver matching donors for her patients from around the region.
Adrian Mah, Director, TAB Singapore

We ALL have the power to save a life – we just don’t know it!

Adrian Mah, Director, TAB Singapore
Adrian Mah, Director, TAB Singapore

Like most of us, I never imagined that life could ever go wrong apart from the odd business challenge thrown my way, but then a really good friend connected to say that she needed a bone marrow transplant. It was a real eye-opener and the least I could do was race down to the address she shared for the BMDP office and get myself onto the register.

I always thought it was a long drawn-out and painful process – but in reality the entire process of form-filling and getting my cheek swabbed took only a few minutes. But it didn’t end there, this is a long-term commitment to donating my bone marrow in the future if ever there is a patient who is a match to me.

Talking with the BMDP team,  I found out how expensive it is to send the swab kits for the laboratory tests – tissue typing – and so beyond just signing up, I wanted to see how TAB could assist in fund-raising and creating awareness. Why? Because the BMDP is playing a crucial role in actually saving the lives of patients – just like my friend – and like me, most people simply don’t realise how little it takes to really make a difference. People need to know what it takes to become a donor and how their small act today may save somebody’s life.

There are people out there who desperately need our help to find a match and I believe if it is within our power to help, we must definitely do so. A huge thank you to our bands who are helping out in this great cause and I invite you to attend our second anniversary celebration to help us in furthering the BMDP’s cause of expanding the local register. We’re going to have a great big party with lots of local bands. So, see you guys, it’s going to be a blast!

Adrian Mah
Director, TAB Singapore