‘Give a Little, Save a Life’ – JP Duminy pleads
South African cricketer and philanthropist JP Duminy is using his powerful voice to tell a story about two Leukaemia patients who need your help.
The cost of saving a Leukaemia patient in South Africa
A six-year-old boy from Gauteng and a 19-year-old female from Free State have lived their lives battling rare forms of Leukaemia.
The latter, according to Mayo Clinic, is a “cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system.”
Leukaemia comes in many forms and while it is treatable, it is very expensive and most patients struggle to manage the costs involved in overcoming the disease.
Alicia Venter, Head of Patient Services at the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR), detailed the costs involved in finding a donor and without a proper medical aid scheme, this can be “a barrier to getting the life-saving treatment.”
“These costs include the search for an unrelated donor match in cases where no suitably matched donors are found among family members, testing and verification, the procurement and transportation of stem cells (from anywhere in the world), as well as travel and accommodation of the donor should the collection centre be far from home. Costs related to bone marrow stem cell transplants from international donors are more than double that of local donors,” Venter explained.
JP Duminy and SABMR launch Give a Little, Save a Life campaign
It is for this reason that SABMR and Duminy have joined hands to launch the Give a Little, Save a Life campaign.
This is a concerted effort to raise funds for the Patient Assistance (PA) Programme, a very helpful option for many patients who can’t afford the costs that come with finding suitable donors for a bone marrow transplant.
“Our Patient Assistance Programme is available to patients who are unable to obtain adequate funds for the treatment or in cases where their medical aid doesn’t cover donor searches, despite appeal,” Venter added.
SABMR had to find alternative ways to raise funds for the PA programme after Covid-19 forced the cancellation of its 2020 events calendar.
How much is needed and where to make donations
The non-profit organisation used some of its reserves to fund the programme and while this helped cover some of the key costs involved in finding suitable unrelated donors for eight patients, it’s not sustainable.
This is especially the case for the two young patients from Gauteng and Free State. Duminy understands this clearly and has since called on every South African to assist him in raising R400 000 for the complex process these two patients have to undergo in finding donors.
“Their only hope of survival is a stem cell transplant. By rallying together, we can raise the funds to make it a reality and give them the second chance they deserve. In my life, I’ve experienced many exhilarating moments – both on and off the field – and wish the same for these two young patients and others who are in a similar position. If you have the means to give, even if it’s just R50, you’ll never regret it,” Duminy pleaded.
“By combining the power of social media and sporting heroes such as JP Duminy, we hope to raise enough funds to make a real difference to the lives of hundreds of patients suffering from blood disorders in the coming year,” Kamiel Singh, Head of Sustainability at the SABMR said.