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Children & Young People · 01:30

Donor Apheresis for Live

  • By Idial Sari  Rustenia · Indonesia, APEC

 

Donor Apheresis for Live

Main aim of the charity

The main aim is to provide platelet for cancer patient whenever they need it. This is critical to support their long treatment process and improve their quality of live. Therefore we need to raise awareness in our society about the importance of platelet donor and invite more people to help cancer patient by becoming donor apheresis/platelet.

How the employee got involved and why

First I would like to explain what apheresis is, it is a process in which blood is collected, part of the blood such as platelets or white blood cells is taken out, and the rest of the blood is returned to the donor. The process will take 60 minutes to 2 hours. Normal platelet level in human body is about 150.000 however in cancer patient the level can be dropped significantly to 2000, too low platelet level in blood will cause bleeding and can risk patient’s live. I got involved in apheresis when a friend of mine suffered from a disease and she needed platelet donor urgently. Together with some friends we initiated to donor our platelet. I never gave my platelet before and did not know the process. We attended screening tests in the hospital and surprisingly from some people only me who passed the test and I was able to be a platelet donor for my friend. From the nurse I knew that the cost for screening test and apheresis process was very expensive and how difficult it was to find volunteers to donate platelet. I deeply sympathy to the patients and family who were in very tough situation trying to save their family member but could not get a donor, especially when they came from far province and they did not have relatives or friends in Jakarta. Cancer treatment is long process. It can take years. And one patient need regular donor. Based on that, I gave my number to the nurse in the hospital to contact me whenever they need donor. That was how I started my contribution as a donor. After 3 years being “individual volunteer” then I was introduced to social organization called “Yayasan Laskar Apheresis Berbagi”. In short I joined with this organization and being active member of the committee.

What work does the employee do for charity?

The organization has some divisions, and I’m at Donor Division. This is key division and my responsibilities are to find new candidates of donor, approach and help them to take the screening test on daily basis. We work with Blood Bank in the hospital to fulfill platelet need every day. We also provide help like home visit, social activities and counseling for children cancer and their parents. And maintain relationship with the existing donors.

What impact would winning have on the charity?

The impact will be huge. Our organization is relatively new, we have many dreams that we want to make real however we have limited resources and budget. Our focus now is how to gain more volunteer to donate their platelet. From total need of platelet in a month we only can support about 75% and sadly number of cancer patient is increasing therefore we need more donor. We want to create massive education program and sharing to many people about what apheresis is and why it’s needed. So we can help much more patients who fight cancer, ease their medical treatment after chemo or even save their live. Secondly we need to maintain and appreciate our existing volunteers who always ready to donate for others. We must have appreciation programs for them.

What impact would winning have on the employee?

This will be a great support for me and for cancer patients who never give up fighting for their live. I can use the fund to help the organization to run the programs. And by sharing this to more people I hope that the awareness about donor apheresis is increased in our society. We can help and save more people, I’m sure.

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