AU Watch

Bone Marrow Stem Cell Donation and Leukaemia Awareness Month

15 August to 15 October

Leukaemia is a group of bone marrow diseases involving an uncontrolled increase in white blood cells (leukocytes). There is around a 30% chance of a sibling being a bone marrow match, meaning that there is a 70% chance that someone will need a transplant from a non-related donor. Each year, 35 people in every million learn that they have leukaemia of whom five will be children.

As opposed to a few different blood types, there are millions of different types of cell tissue. The success of a patient’s transplant depends on finding a match, otherwise their body will reject it.

The Sunflower Fund was formed in 1999 to create awareness for the need of donors. It was formed by parents whose children had contracted leukaemia, and in some cases had lost their battle against it.