Darren Combrink is encouraging South Africans to support his BackaBuddy campaign.
On March 30, 2019, Digital Media producer and founder of Walking For Life, Darren Combrink (45) will complete as many laps as ‘humanly possible’, from Myog Frozen Yogurt in Kloof Street to Myog in Camps Bay for a cause close to his heart.
Since the launch of his Walking for Life initiative in January 2018, he has remained committed to supporting the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR), a public benefit organisation that matches critically ill children and adults in need of transplants with donor matches.
He has thus far completed six projects, walking a total distance of 930km.
With his Myog Challenge, Combrink will pass through the famous mountain pass up Kloof Nek Road, the 24th steepest in South Africa and complete at least six laps, a distance of 32,4 kilometers, up the steep gradient to honor a young man’s plea to increase the SABMR’s donor database.
Seventeen-year-old Robbie Eddles, a grade 11 student from Durban, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic anaemia at the age of five, is currently waiting on a bone marrow donor match that could save his life.
Seventeen-year-old Robbie Eddles from Durban.
“I want there to be more donors. We are all each other’s tomorrow. Anyone can donate and should donate. If not for me, then do it for someone else,” said Robbie.
Echoing Robbie’s message, that has since encouraged over 7000 new donor applications, Combrink launched a crowdfunding campaign on donations based crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy, to appeal to the public to help cover the costs of donor recruitment, which costs around R2000 per recipient, at no cost to the donor.
The campaign went live on BackaBuddy on February 26, 2019. He hopes the public will continue supporting his BackaBuddy campaign for people like Robbie.
“Robbie is a brave, intelligent, funny, kind and incredibly loving human being, who is sadly living on the verge. His bone marrow is 90 percent leukemic and he doesn’t have a matching donor. Without a bone marrow match, he is running out of time,” he said.
Combrink hopes his campaign will be a beacon of hope for this young man and so many others in a similar situation.
“I would like to challenge the people of South Africa to join us, become a donor and support our BackaBuddy campaign,” he added.
According to SABMR’s sustainability portfolio manager, Kamiel Singh, there are currently only 73, 000 donors registered on the site to cater to over 57 million South Africans.
“Every year, hundreds of South Africans with blood diseases such as leukaemia reach the point where their only chance of survival is a bone marrow transplant. For about 30 percent of patients, a matched donor can be found in their own family; for the other 70 percent, their only hope is to find a matched unrelated donor identified by our database,” said Singh.
There’s an even greater need for donors of African descent, said Kamiel, a message highlighted by Freshly Ground lead singer, Zolani Mahola, who became a bone marrow donor 2 years ago after her friend’s passing.
“As a nation, we have a rich history of Ubuntu and we must continually find new ways of expressing it,” said Mahola.
Donate on BackaBuddy to support the South African Bone Marrow Registry in recruiting new donors: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/myog-to-myog-challenge or visit the BackaBuddy homepage to make a donation.
All donors will qualify for special prizes and be eligible for a section 18A tax certificate issued by the SABMR.