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Home » Community Articles » The sunflower fund
The sunflower fund

The sunflower fund

The Sunflower Fund, a National Non-Profit Company (NPC), is the only organisation in South Africa dedicated to creating awareness, educating the public and handling the registration process for people to join the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR). The Sunflower Fund pays for the test cost of people joining the SABMR.
By increasing the number of donors listed on the national database, this offers hope to children and adults diagnosed with leukaemia and other life-threatening blood disorders. Higher numbers on the Registry increase their chance of finding matching bone marrow stem cell donors in order to undergo life-saving bone marrow stem cell transplants.

Donors are continuously recruited but they are also continuously decreasing due to age, illness and a number of other reasons. It is of vital importance that we recruit donors continuously through the following important objectives:

  • Promote public awareness of patients suffering from leukaemia and other life-threatening blood disorders.
  • Educate on the need for donor’s representative of all ethnic groups, with a focus on young Black, Coloured and Asian donors.
  • Dispel myths surrounding the donation process (NO drilling into one’s bones for extraction of bone marrow).
  • Highlight our funding needs in order to pay the test costs for individuals to join the SABMR.
  • Assist indigent patients, where possible, in meeting the costs of certain local donor searches of The Registry.

“Sunflowers of Hope” was painted by Chris Corlette before his death. Others in their days of darkness have done the same. Chris did this painting while in isolation during his treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. Copies of this now hang in all the transplant units in South Africa, as well as one in New Zealand and one in Australia. Chris saw donors as the “Seeds of Hope” for patients suffering as he was – hence the name “Sunflowers of Hope”.

Whitehouse Pharmacy has supported this cause by promoting the sale of bandanas and thereby creating the awareness of a Bone Marrow Registry. We have given hope to someone and have made a difference.


Let the sunflower be a tribute to all those that have not survived and a symbol of hope to all patients in the future.


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