The Priceless Gift of Life
Herlina and Her Donor, Xu Kang

Diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, Herlina was given the "bone marrow transplant or death" sentence. Then came her angel, in the form of Xukang, who stepped up to save her life.


Diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, Herlina’s world crashed around her. A mother of two, now eight and five years old, she was terrified of what the future would bring, especially when she was told her survival depended upon having a bone marrow transplant. From the little that she knew, a bone marrow transplant was the last option for patients who are critically ill or when all other treatment has failed.


“I felt hopeless,” Herlina said, recounting the moment she was told her illness had reached the final stage and a bone marrow transplant was her only hope. Knowing the chances of finding a match were very small, she was resigned to her fate and very aware she may not have the chance to see her children grow up. “Then I received a call that a Singaporean donor was found to be a match and he was willing to go through with the donation. No words can explain how I felt on hearing that and yet, until the transplant itself, there was always the fear that something could go wrong and it wouldn’t happen.”


Herlina had her transplant on 18th April 2012, a day she will always remember because it was her birthday and she received the most priceless gift that anyone could ask for – life!




Then on 30th of September of 2013, Herlina got to meet the man who had given her this second chance. Glowing with excitement, she was overwhelmed when she met Xu Kang, the tall and well-built young man who was her donor. It was hugs and tears all around as Herlina’s family – two children, husband and both parents who had all come from Indonesia – had a chance to meet and thank this extraordinary man for his amazing gift.


“He’s an angel from heaven,” said Herlina, when asked about meeting Xu Kang, “I am so excited to meet him! No words can describe it!”



When asked what she would say to people who have yet to sign up as bone marrow donors, Herlina had this heartfelt plea “There is someone out there who needs a lifeline and is waiting for you. Choose to make that small step to sign up as a donor and it could literally be life-changing for someone else and an entire family”.


The private meeting held at Singapore’s Fullerton Hotel between patient and donor was kindly sponsored by Antoine Viterale, La Liga player and BMDP brand ambassador. Xu Kang signed up as a donor in 2011 and was identified as a match for Herlina in early 2012.


See more photos of the meet up here.

PUBLISHED ON 23 October 2017
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?