Receiving a Cross Cultural Gift
A gift that kept Reza's passion alive

Mohammad Reza was a normal, young man – active, always kicking a ball around with his friends and absolutely crazy about football and dreamed about representing the school team in a tournament. In December 2008 just days before Christmas, life changed abruptly for the 10-year-old when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Uncertainty in Reza's life

While the world celebrated, he had to spend all the holiday season in a hospital bed and almost worse than that, trying to come to terms with a diagnosis that offered only one long-term solution: transplant or die. As 2009 began, Reza was juggling school work and hospital visits and unable to participate in any football, all his hopes of representing the school team were dashed.

 

There was a huge concern that Reza’s chances of finding a match would be very slim, as he is an ethnic minority.

 

Uncertainty in Reza's life

While the world celebrated, he had to spend all the holiday season in a hospital bed and almost worse than that, trying to come to terms with a diagnosis that offered only one long-term solution: transplant or die. As 2009 began, Reza was juggling school work and hospital visits and unable to participate in any football, all his hopes of representing the school team were dashed.

 

There was a huge concern that Reza’s chances of finding a match would be very slim, as he is an ethnic minority.

 

Such a kind person! Don’t even know me, yet so willing to donate.

- Reza
7 Months Later

Reza stayed strong and with support from the rest of the family, underwent chemotherapy while all the time waiting for a suitable donor to be found. Without a bone marrow transplant, Reza’s future was just 3 years of chemotherapy and pretty bleak. However, after a wait of 7 months the BMDP found a suitable match for Reza. In September 2009, he received the most precious gift of all: a bone marrow transplant from a Singaporean donor on the BMDP register. “Such a kind person! they don’t even know me, yet are willing to donate”, Reza expressed, “I would kneel down and bow and say thank you very very much”.

 

The bone marrow transplant took place just in time as Reza’s condition was gradually deteriorating. Not only did the donor save Reza’s life, but once again he has the opportunity to continue pursuing his dream. Healthy and fit, life is back to normal – soccer, friends and everything that can fit into another day of being alive.

 

 

Be a donor today

Many other patients from the minority ethnic groups are not as lucky as Reza. Today, the BMDP is pro-actively recruiting new donors from the Malay and Indian communities to ensure that patients like Reza will have a better chance of finding a match in the future. Donating bone marrow is a minor inconvenience and discomfort – but the impact is permanent and life-changing. Learn more: bmdp.org/be-a-donor

 

Choose to be a bone marrow donor. Choose to save a life.

PUBLISHED ON 23 October 2017
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?