A stem cell donor is attempting to cross the “gruelling” Robben Island crossing, for patients with blood-related cancers.
Twenty-nine-year-old Christine Roos, a passionate swimmer and philanthropist from Benoni will soon brave the cold Atlantic in a 7.4km swim from Robben Island to Big Bay to raise R50 000 for the SA Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR).
Roos signed up as a bone marrow donor at a registration drive in Gauteng two years ago and has been an advocate for bone marrow donation ever since.
She will attempt the swim between April 5 and 9, depending on the weather conditions.
Roos described the challenge as nothing compared to suffering from a life-threatening blood disorder and not being able to afford the treatment.
“The swim is but three or so hours of my life compared to many hours, months or even years that patients suffer with blood-related cancers and often a transplant is their only hope of survival.
“As a registered stem cell donor, I have made it my mission to spread awareness of the life-saving work that the SABMR does and the difference every one of us can make by becoming a donor,” Roos said.
Kamiel Singh, Head of Sustainability for the SABMR, the NGO that has been trying to recoup lost funding says the majority of their physical fundraising events were cancelled last year due to lockdown restrictions, so they are we’re slowly, but surely trying to get back on their feet.
“We are extremely grateful to Christine for championing this cause and making life-saving treatments available to more patients,” Singh said.
In 2018 Roos also participated in the 947 Cycle Challenge as part of a team of cyclists, where R150 000 was raised for the registry via BackaBuddy.