Every year, millions of individuals around the world are diagnosed with cancer. In 2018, just fewer than 1.5 million new cases of blood cancer were recorded worldwide and according to a special report by Discovery Health released in 2018 cancer causes more deaths in South Africa than HIV/Aids, TB and malaria combined. Even more staggering is the fact detailed in the same report that leukaemia tops the list of top five cancers by cost at R281 455 per case on average. Whilst it is good to shine the spotlight on these statistics to raise awareness, The Sunflower Fund want to use bone marrow stem cell donation and leukaemia awareness month to remind South Africans that they actually can do something to change these statistics.
The Sunflower Fund initiated its annual Sunflower Day campaign 16 years ago to get individuals involved in the fight against blood diseases. The campaign, which is anchored by the sale of the Tube of Hope (TOPE), a multi-purpose accessory, is aimed at raising funds for the recruitment of blood stem cell donors to give the hope of cure to patients diagnosed with life-threatening blood diseases like leukaemia who are in need of a life-saving stem cell transplant.