National Bandana Day for the Sunflower Fund

Bandana Day

Saturday October 12 is National Bandana Day and all South African’s are urged to buy a bandana for only R25 in support of The Sunflower Fund. All funds raised from the bandana sales will go towards assisting The Sunflower Fund in increasing the South African Bone Marrow Registry, which exists to find and match bone marrow stem cell donors to patients who need a transplant.

In doing so they provide hope to those suffering from leukaemia and other life threatening blood disorders. Every year thousands of South Africans, mostly children and teenagers, are diagnosed with blood disorders such a leukaemia, marrow failure and aplasia.

“National Bandana Day is our biggest fundraiser and signature event of the year,” said Tina Botha, CEO of The Sunflower Fund. “We encourage and appeal to all South African’s to buy a bandana and wear it to work, university or school on the 12th October.”

This year’s funky bandana design comprises the South African flag colours with the word “Hope” written in our official languages. Share a Little, Save a Life….buy your bandana today and give hope to someone else.

The Sunflower Fund was formed in 1999 in support of the SABMR and was inspired by Chris Corlett and Darren Serebro’s heroic struggle against leukaemia. It was formed by parents whose children had contracted leukaemia, and in some cases had lost their battle against it. Their aim was to secure financial support in order to increase the number of bone marrow stem cell donors in South Africa. With the odds of finding a donor being 1:100 000, the idea is to expand the registry to at least 100 000. You can help by joining the SABMR. All you have to do to be registered on the SABMR is to give two tubes of your blood. We need your fast response and long-term commitment.

The Sunflower Fund’s short-term goal is to increase the SABMR to 100 000 donors and at a cost of R 2000 per donor to test them at the Molecular (DNA) Level, a funding amount of:

  • We had budgeted R5.5 million to recruit a total of 5 500 donors for 2012 (1600 donors via call centre and 3 700 donors via our targeted recruitment donor drives).
  • This was at the previous cost of R1 000 per test in 2011.
  • In January 2012, we implemented the new Molecular (DNA) Testing which is more accurate and more advanced but is now going to cost The Sunflower Fund R2 000 per test which means we would have to raise over R13 million, which is R8 million over our previous budget.

For more information on National Bandana Day and The Sunflower Fund, call the toll free line on 0800 12 10 82 or visit

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