AH SIAO TARGETS AUSTRALIA’S BIBBULMUN TRACK, AIMING TO RECRUIT 1,000 DONORS FOR BMDP
Advocate to complete 1,000KM trail in 20 days to raise awareness for Bone Marrow Donor Programme
Bone Marrow Donor Programme (BMDP) ambassador, Mr. Gerrard Lin, affectionately known as “Ah Siao”, is planning yet another crazy stunt in his mission to raise awareness for the organisation’s life-saving cause. His latest adventure will see him hike a gruelling 1,000 kilometres across some of Australia’s harshest outback and for each kilometre, he wants another donor to sign up onto the register.
Completing the Bibbulmun Track should take 20 days – almost record-breaking speed under difficult and harsh terrain for the city dweller – but the numbers reflect the startling facts about bone marrow donation. It is a 1 in 20,000 chance that a patient needing a bone marrow transplant can find a donor and if another 1,000 people sign up in support of Ah Siao’s long march, then the odds of saving more lives will increase.
Mr. Lin has been a volunteer with the BMDP and an advocate of their work since 2012, when he dragged a 14kg tyre over the full 42km at the Standard Chartered Marathon. He then ran 31 marathons in 31 days in his March Marathon Madness campaign in 2014. “People always want to find a reason for why they cannot do something, especially when asked to get outside of their own comfort zone and be a bone marrow donor,” Mr Lin shared about the motivations behind his stunts. “My alter-ego, Ah Siao, is challenging this perception and all we ask is for 1,000 new donors to sign up and ‘power us on’ for the full length of the trek.”
Stretching from Albany on the south coast of Western Australia to Kalamunda in the Perth Hills, the Bibbulmun Track is one of the world’s great long distance trails. Most leisure trekkers take between 8 to 12 weeks to complete the trail, but the 33-year-old martial arts instructor and his partner for the trip, Mr. Ng Junwei, a Physical Education teacher who is also 33 years old, aim to conquer the trail in just 20 days.
“Signing up to be a bone marrow donor takes just two minutes and when the public learn about Ah Siao’s huge 20-day commitment, we sincerely hope they will push themselves to make an effort and join him in our fight to save lives,” said Jane Prior, Chief Executive of BMDP. “To put this in perspective, we have at least 50 patients waiting to see if we can find them a life-saving donor and for many of them, 20 days may be the only time they have.”
Compared to conquering the Bibbulmun Track, signing up as a bone marrow donor is easy. Simply request for a postal kit to be sent to you on the BMDP website. It is a simple cheek swab to capture a DNA sample and put you on the register. If you are identified as a possible match, the donation process itself is simple and straightforward, much like an extended blood donation which takes approximately 5 to 7 hours.
For more information about bone marrow donation and the BMDP, please visit www.bmdp.org
To help power their run, please donate at – https://www.giving.sg/the-bone-marrow-donor-programme/trekkingtosavelives