Ara is a grassroots volunteer initiative to combat blood cancers and sickle cell anemia in Africa by recruiting bone marrow donors and promoting cancer awareness.
Several Nigerians are infected with blood cancers, most commonly leukaemia and their chances of survival depend on the availability of donors whose bone marrow matches theirs. The more the donors, the more likely their chances of getting a match.
Ara also seeks to build a network that supports cancer and sickle cell patients, survivors, and families by connecting them with a community to which they can direct their concerns and queries, and eradicate the stigma that surrounds cancer and bone marrow donation.
To further this cause, in collaboration with the Bone Marrow Registry in Nigeria and Delete Blood Cancer (DKMS); Ara is launching a program to recruit the first 2,000 bone marrow donors in Nigeria.
The drive takes place on December 21st at The NBA Building, 1261 Adeola Hopwell, Victoria Island, Lagos from 9:00pm to 5:00pm.
Ronke Babalakin, a member of Ara’s founding team says, “Here at Ara, we really want to get young people interested and invested in this issue. Not everyone in the Ara community will be a bone marrow donor; instead we want the people to be open to learn more about blood cancer related diseases and how we can fight them effectively. Ara’s initial goal is to recruit 30,000 bone marrow donors on the African bone marrow registries by December 2018. Ara is offering everyone the opportunity to come, eat, and connect with people and learn how to save lives. It doesn’t get any better than that!”
At the drive, potential donors can learn the bone marrow donation process from trained Ara volunteers. There will also be booths to register as a bone marrow donor, food and drinks and give-aways.