Bone Marrow Donor Programme’s flagship event aims to raise awareness on blood diseases and the need for bone marrow donations
Online PR News – 14-September-2020 – Singapore – On a single day, 6 Singaporeans of any age are diagnosed with a terminal blood-related disease such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. For many of these patients, it becomes necessary to undergo a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in order for them to survive these blood diseases, and direct family members may not be a match. The Bone Marrow Donor Programme (BMDP) has initiated a series of community related events which aims to create awareness amongst the general public, in the hope of increasing marrow donor sign-ups so that there will be a higher chance of finding a match for every patient.
BMDP first launched ‘Match For Life’ (MFL) in 2019 with the aim to raise awareness for blood related diseases by rallying members of the community together in a series of sports related activities. The inaugural event, held at Our Tampines Hub, was co-organised with the formerly known Home United Football Club, now Lion City Sailors Football Club, and supported by Singapore Polytechnic, along with a pool of dedicated volunteers. The soccer tournament which involved people from all walks of life and the accompanying carnival was a resounding success. It gained huge traction from the public with a reach of over 500,000, 5000 event attendees, 180 volunteers, 123 Marrow Donors, 35 Football teams from 4 different leagues, 20 sponsors, and finally, held the record of a total of 200 people Tossing Soccer Balls Together, one that can be seen in the Singapore Book of Records.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, MFL 2020 takes on a virtual route. BMDP is anticipating the same level of engagement this year, if not higher, despite the event being held online. On the decision to hold the event despite these challenging times, Mr Charles Loh, Chief Executive Officer of the BMDP, explains, “The pandemic has resulted in a global impact on life and it has forced us to step back and assess what is really important in our lives. It has made us all realise that at the end of the day, health is important, family and friends are precious. The ability to love, care for and give of ourselves to others is part of being human. Through this event, we hope to continue raising awareness of blood diseases and also to debunk myths relating to marrow donation, while allowing the public to enjoy guided activities at home with their families.”
The theme for the virtual event this year is “It Takes a Village to Save a Life”. Building on the theme of MFL 2019, MFL 2020 will continue to use sports as a channel to support the vision and mission of BMDP, and also highlight the elemental theme that it takes more than one person to allow for a successful transplant to be made possible.
MFL 2020 sees a series of online sporting activities presented by fitness partners, health-related webinars fronted by renowned experts, as well as fun and engaging social media activities. This event will be launched on 19 September 2020 which is World Marrow Donor Day (WMDD). It will run for a period of 3 weeks ending on 10 October 2020. This is especially significant as 10/10 is symbolic of finding a perfect match for our patients.
The event is also held to appreciate and recognise the contributions of our doctors, nurses, families, friends and partners. They have worked around the clock to make these transplants possible for patients overcoming challenges and constraints arising from the pandemics, e.g. the drastic reduction of flights which affected the transportation of stem cells for our patients.
The Sports Series is comprised of both open and closed-door 1-hour sessions and will include virtual workouts lead by partners of different sporting backgrounds such as Lion City Sailors Football Club, F45 Paya Lebar, TFX and True Fitness, 1Fiesta, Sculpt-Fit Society, 120 Fitness SG and Singapore Polytechnic. This inclusiveness will encourage individuals from all walks of life to join in these sessions by BMDP and allow for a diverse representation of donors, keeping in line with the event’s theme that in the case of its patients, it takes a village to save a life. BMDP is offering early bird giveaways for the first 200 participants who register and attend the sessions, as there are limited slots available for each session and a total of 22 sessions including closed-door sessions hosted by Singapore Polytechnic.
Webinar Series – Marrow 101
BMDP’s Marrow 101 is a series of five virtual sessions aimed at raising awareness of transplants and marrow donations. This 1-hour educational session will revolve around conversations between a panel of professionals who are transplant doctors, nurses, counsellors, BMDP staff, donors, patients as well as volunteers in spreading the event’s theme that it indeed takes a village to save a life. Hosts of this session include MediaCorp Artiste, Varman and BMDP Ambassador, Marc Hickman, with some confirmed panelists being Dr. Lim Zi-Yi, Dr. Michelle Poon, Dr. Frances Yeap, Dr. Koh Liang Piu, and more. The sessions will also feature first-hand accounts from a stem cell recipient and a marrow donor. As with the sports series, there will be an early bird giveaway for the first 200 participants who register and attend the insightful session.
Webinar Series – Swab Room / Swab Live
The next webinar from BMDP’s Marrow 101 Series is a virtual space where BMDP staff and student partners from National University Singapore (NUS), ITE College Central and ITE College West are able to guide individuals through a cheek swab from the comfort of their own homes. This session includes a short sharing on the importance of marrow donation and will run for 15-30 minutes. It is held to allow individuals to find out more about marrow donation through the sharing and participate in mass virtual swabs to enhance their experience of online signup.
Let’s Get Social
To further spread awareness and gain wider attention from the public, BMDP has launched their own exclusive online GIFs series of stickers, which members of the public can use and share through Instagram. These GIFs can be found by searching “bmdpsg” or “matchforlife” under Instagram Stories GIFs. There will also be a dance challenge choreographed by Faiz from 120 Fitness SG during the session to encourage the public to partake in this cause as well as to promote increased awareness on social media by user generated content for BMDP.
Sessions will be held through Zoom and re-run of recorded videos will be streamed on YouTube Live to allow for a wider reach. Registration is free, and the public is encouraged to share about and rally their friends and family to join in the virtual events.
More information on Match For Life 2020 https://bmdp.org/match-for-life-2020/
Webinar Registration https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_RClJ2cMmTXKx_EJmbn92-Q
Workout Sessions https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8zd856TpTp6fDXJhGsPplA
About the Bone Marrow Donor Programme
The Bone Marrow Donor Programme was established in 1993 to save lives. It is a non-profit organisation responsible for building and managing Singapore’s only register of volunteer marrow donors who are willing to donate their bone marrow and help those who need a transplant to survive. Its mission is to provide hope for patients with leukaemia, lymphoma and other blood-related diseases by finding them an unrelated matching marrow donor, their last hope of survival. For more information about the Bone Marrow Donor Programme, please visit https://bmdp.org/
Issued on behalf of the Bone Marrow Donor Programme by Affluence PR Pte Ltd.
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