In Conversation: A Mum’s Perspective
She found out the truth about bone marrow donation and even went on to not only sign up as a donor, but help BMDP at public drives and roadshow as well, spreading the word on our life-saving mission...

The harsh truth of our world is that it is still not possible to find a matching donor for every patient in need of a transplant locally. Our efforts to recruit more young donors to join the register from the education sector, mainly the tertiary institutions, has met with great success - proven to be one of the more effective recruitment channels for our 3-years project to add another 50,000 volunteer donors onto our register. However, it’s not all bed of roses as many parents are still plagued with the misconceptions about bone marrow donation – which includes:

 

  1. Process of donating bone marrow is painful and dangerous;
  2. Bone marrow is usually taken from the spine;
  3. There will be long term side effects;
  4. Muslims can’t donate; and
  5. Donors cannot have children after donation

 

We are fortunate today to be able to talk to a mum who was hesitant initially when her son wanted to sign up as a bone marrow donor but decided to find out more instead of turning her head away, asking her son to not sign up. She found out the truth about bone marrow donation and even went on to not only sign up as a donor, but help BMDP at public drives and roadshow as well, spreading the word on our life-saving mission. Hear what she has to say…

 


 

Q: When and how did your son tell you that he has signed up to be a bone marrow donor with BMDP? What was your reaction then?

 

My son found out about the Bone Marrow Donor Programme from a school drive last year (2017) and told me he wanted to sign up to be a donor. I opposed his decision initially as I thought that the process of donating bone marrow was dangerous.

 

Q: Did your son managed to convince you that the usual misconceptions about bone marrow donations are not true? Were you prompted to find out more about bone marrow donation?

 

Yes, my son showed me a brochure and explained that the process is actually similar to a blood donation. I was surprised to discover that the donation is simple and relatively risk-free. He wanted to save a life and I could not say no.

 

Q: Now that you understand more about the programme and what it does, what are your opinion about bone marrow donation and/ or the programme?

 

I think a lot of work needs to be done – there are pervasive misconceptions towards bone marrow donation and this deters people from signing up to be a donor. There needs to be greater public education on bone marrow donation to dispel myths and change people’s mindsets. I have signed up to be a donor after learning more about it and I believe others will choose to save a life if they have a clearer understanding of it as well.

 

Q: What would you tell other parents, who have yet to understand the right concept of bone marrow donation?

 

I would tell them to give patients with blood disorders a chance at life by learning more about bone marrow donation. The process of donation is very safe because of advancements in medical technology. And perhaps to watch the BMDP videos about donors sharing their experiences, I was moved when I watched it!

PUBLISHED ON 01 August 2018
CHOOSE TO GIVE LIFE TODAY
Registering to become a bone marrow donor means committing to be there when you get the call to give life. Each registrant provides hope for those waiting. A person could, however, be a match within a few months of registering, a year later or even seven years later.
How to register?