SA-born expert skateboarder and enthusiastic stem cell donor Jean-Marc Johannes will actively be motivating youth this month to sign up with the SA Bone Marrow Registry in its continuous battle to conserve lives.
Currently, youth in between the ages of 16 and 25 just represent 6.8% of signed up SABMR donors, which according to Nadia Chalkley, Head of Donor Recruitment for the SABMR, ought to be at 13%.
“With many of the SABMR donors approaching 60 years and then no longer eligible for donation, we need the younger generation to fill their shoes.”
She states possible factors for youths’s hesitation to register might be the worry of being hired to contribute, specifically if they are not familiar with what it requires.
“So numerous misconceptions continue to obstruct our efforts. While we describe the treatment as a bone marrow transplant, it’s not real bone marrow that is required, however stem cells that are gotten rid of from the blood stream instead of the marrow itself.
“Making a stem cell contribution isn’t tough or uncomfortable. In reality, it is really comparable to contributing blood platelets. The just distinction is that donors are asked to take an injection a couple of days prior to contribution, which assists to promote the bone marrow to produce more blood-forming stem cells. Blood is then drawn from one arm which goes through a maker that gets rid of the stem cells and after that returns the blood to the other arm. The whole procedure takes about 3 to 4 hours and can be done at a close-by healthcare facility or blood donor center.
“There’s also no hassle involved in signing up. It can all be done online within minutes and a swab kit will then be dispatched to the donor’s home. All that is required, is wiping a cotton swab on the inside of your cheek, sealing it and notifying the registry that it is ready for collection.”
She states more youthful individuals are chosen donors as they are connected with much better survival rates for clients following a stem cell transplant. “Our goal is to hire a minimum of 10 000 more youth prior to completion of the year.
“Signing Johannes as the SABMR’s youth ambassador makes certain to produce increased awareness amongst youth and will assist the windows registry to chip away at the misconceptions that are plentiful.
“He is enthusiastic about the cause, and we hope that his passion becomes contagious. We know he is going to be a powerful motivator for youth to get involved and make a difference.”
Having simply returned from the distinguished Dew Tour in the United States, Johannes will begin his tasks as youth ambassador beginning this June. He will be associated with instructional outreaches throughout the year, that includes school and on-campus activations to rally the growing skateboarding neighborhood and youth behind the cause.
Johannes – a four-time world recordholder, who has actually broken 7 Guinness Book of World Records, is SA’s leading skateboarder and will be wishing to complete in the Olympic Games this July. He has actually likewise been inducted in the World Records Academy for breaking a 13-year streak set by expert skateboarder, Rob Dyrdek.
He states the collaboration with the SABMR is a natural fit.
“This cause is close to my heart as I’ve had to come to terms with and deal with the challenges of having asthma since childhood. Due to the severity of my asthma, I was advised by doctors not to participate in any sport. However, my passion for athletics and realising my dreams, put me on a path of recovery and helped me to better manage the condition. My grandmother, who died of cancer, was my beacon of motivation in life and always told me that anything was possible, and I believed her. I hope that through my efforts, more youth will help to realise the dreams of others that deserve a second chance at life through the simple act of stem cell donation,” he motivates.
In October in 2015, the SABMR ended up being the 2nd nation on the planet after the UK, to permit 16 and 17-year-olds to end up being stem cell donors. Previously teens needed to wait up until they turn 18 to sign up with the windows registry.
Chalkley states in addition to Johannes being an ambassador for the SABMR, it has actually released a volunteer drive called #50Squad targeted at 16 to 35-year-olds to end up being “youth ambassadors”, in order to assist drive awareness and hire peers of numerous ethnic backgrounds in their particular neighborhoods.
If you’d like to register for the #50Squad program, you can do so here: https://sabmr.co.za/become-a-volunteer/. The SABMR can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @sabonemreg.