When people ask about my role as Donor Centre Coordinator in the BMDP, many comment that it must be tough explaining the whole process of bone marrow donation and transplantation to potential donors about. Also, do I enjoy what I do?
My reply! “Without a doubt, I do! Not only can I make a difference in our patients’ lives but I also get to meet our wonderful donors who go above and beyond when they are called upon to fulfill the pledge they made when they signed up.
In 2012, 38 local donors were found to be potential matches for patients in need of a bone marrow transplant. 16 of them said “yes” to proceeding to testing, and 2 went on to donate their bone marrow. This year, we have had a significant – and very gratifying – increase in this number with 68 donors identified as potential patient matches year-to-date; and 6 Singaporean donors have actually donated their bone marrow or stem cells for a patient and we have a few more transplants in the pipeline before the end of the year.
This increase is testament to the great work done by the BMDP team in building up the register over the years and we are optimistic the “tipping point” will kick in sometime in the next three years when we can source the majority of matches from our local donor pool. Definitely this means that my role will be expanding – and at the same time, as more donors are called up, we have more heroes to share their stories; how just a few days in their life, meant a lifetime to someone else.
And if you are reading this – then the next hero might just be YOU! Remember, it’s Not Guts, Not Glory. Just the Right Attitude!