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Stem cell donor raising funds for bone marrow registry with Robben Island swim

5 April 2021 3:37 PM
Tags:
Benoni
Robben Island
Big Bay
weekend breakfast
sabmr
Robben Island crossing
SA Bone Marrow Registry
Christine Roos
bone marrow donor
stem cell donor

Christine Roos has been training mainly in a gym pool in Benoni: 'Imagine how many lengths I have to swim before I reach 7.4 km!'

A passionate swimmer and philanthropist from Benoni is set to swim from Robben Island to Big Bay to raise R50,000 for the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR).

In line with the latest weather forecast, 29-year-old Christine Roos will brave the cold Atlantic on Wednesday 7 April for the 7.4 km swim.

A bone marrow transplant can save the life of someone with leukaemia or other blood diseases, and immune disorders.

The Registry connects patients with donors and provides family support.

The former national hockey player chats to Abongile Nzelenzele (in for Sara-Jayne King) on Weekend Breakfast.

Roos says the swimming challenge is nothing compared to suffering from a life-threatening blood disorder and not being able to afford the treatment.

I'm doing this in the hope of raising awareness and educating people more about the fact around the SA Bone Marrow Registry, and to raise funds that go to the Patient Assistance Programme for families who don't have the financial means to find a suitable donor.

Christine Roos

Roos decided to become a bone marrow donor in 2019.

When she found out that donation is a simple procedure nowadays thanks to the latest technology, she wanted more people to know about this.

It's such a simple procedure and anyone can actually give someone a second chance at life.

Christine Roos

It's something like one in 100,000 to match up with someone and only then are you called in to do the donation.

Christine Roos

Roos lives in Benoni and doesn't have the luxury of training in the sea.

She's been swimming in Gauteng's dams and rivers, but mainly training in a gym pool.

You can imagine how many lengths I have to swim before I even reach that distance!

Christine Roos

The choppiness in the sea - I'm just hoping that on the day my mindset is strong enough for me to manage it... You just prepare as much as you can and then you tackle it head-on!

Christine Roos

Roos says she's able to challenge herself in this way because she's played professional sport her whole life.

And, she won't be wearing a wet suit to cope with the cold.

It's just about making sure that I'm ticking every other box... doing a bit of cold water training, because with that kind of swim it's the hypothermia that defeats people more than the distance and the choppy water... I'll be doing it just in a costume... (chuckles)

Christine Roos

Roos urges listeners to become bone marrow donors - you can register on the SABMR website.

If you can help with funding (no matter how little), visit her BackaBuddy link.

Listen to the interview on Weekend Breakfast:




5 April 2021 3:37 PM
Tags:
Benoni
Robben Island
Big Bay
weekend breakfast
sabmr
Robben Island crossing
SA Bone Marrow Registry
Christine Roos
bone marrow donor
stem cell donor

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