The Sunflower Fund & Aplastic Anemia


The Sunflower Fund partnered by DKMS is a donor recruitment centre and stem cell registry. They fight blood diseases like leukaemia and Aplastic Anemia through the recruitment of stem cell donors and maintaining a registry of potential donors committed to helping anyone in need of a life-saving (bone marrow) stem cell transplant. They fundraise to cover the cost of education and awareness about the need for and the process to become a blood stem cell donor as well as to cover the cost of the HLA tissue-typing test involved in the recruitment of donors. The Sunflower Fund partnered by DKMS also maintains a patient support fund to assist patients who are unable to afford costs associated with getting a transplant as well as being actively involved in creating a platform for support structures to assist patients, families and communities.

Together we can fight life-threatening blood disorders. Be somebody’s hope for life by registering to be a stem cell donor, donating money or volunteering.

One of the ways that South Africans can donate is by buying their very own Topes from any Pick ‘n Pay shop when it comes close to the time of the Sunflower Fund day. This day is usually in September and the Topes usually cost about R30 each. I have several and one of each colour I can find. They try to change the fabric designs of the Topes every year and I’m always excited to see what they have next.

I support them because in a way, it feels like I’m helping children like my youngest daughter that also needed a bone marrow transplant and couldn’t find a match in this country. If she had, she might still be here today.

You can also become a donor of bone marrow. Are you considering joining a (bone marrow) blood stem cell registry?

Every year, thousands of patients around the world are diagnosed with leukaemia and other blood-related diseases. In the past, this diagnosis was often fatal. Today, a blood stem cell transplant can be a potentially life-saving treatment for more than 70 different diseases. A blood stem cell transplant replaces a person’s defective stem cells with healthy ones. More than 50,000 patients worldwide receive transplants every year, and this number continues to rise.

Sadly, many patients who could benefit from this life-saving procedure do not get the treatment they so desperately need – because finding a donor with a similar tissue type is no easy task. In around one-third of cases, a donor can be found within a patient’s family. But the rest of the time, an unrelated donor is required for successful transplantation.

If you want more info on it, then you can download an info flyer here. Choose your preferred language.

To get more information on The Sunflower Fund and all the wonderful things that they do, you can go to their website.

You can even offer to volunteer your time to assist them with various needs.

My youngest had Aplastic Anaemia so I know what it’s like to be in the situation where you need a donor, so I can tell you that what The Sunflower Fund is doing is very important to many lives.

Sunflower Day (18 September) is on the South African Health Awareness Calendar for 2020. TOPES will go on sale first week in August and you can buy your TOPES from Pick n Pay, Zando, and selected Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA).

UPDATED INFO: They have changed the date of the Sunflower Day to the 13th of November. They are not going to be selling the TOPES from August and they don’t have a new date for that yet. I will update once the new selling date is in.

NEW UPDATED INFO: The TOPES are going on sale at selected stores from the 1st of October 2020.

What are Topes?

An affordable, multipurpose article of clothing retailing at R30, and can be worn as a headband, mask, scarf, cap or arm-band. Being broadly versatile, it may be used in a wide variety of sports or outdoor activities and will be available in six eye-catching colours. The TOPE offers practical functionality for the entire family and also gives wearers the opportunity to show their support for this important cause.

Here were the design and colours of the Topes from last year:

I did a video on Aplastic Anemia and you can watch it below:

That’s it from me for now…

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Enjoy the moments

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