Author: Pamela Bousejean
A lot has been happening with Ur the Cure lately and I am making some really big advancements! Although I didn't gain any interest from the Leukaemia Foundation, I did have a positive response from Lymphoma Australia who are keen to work with me.
Also recently I was contacted by my local newspaper, the Geelong Advertiser who wanted to run a story about the work I was doing. I also put them in touch with Melissa Baker - a lady who got in contact with me via the Ur the Cure Facebook page and is struggling to find her match due to her Italian heritage. They ran a joint story and from there I contacted a reporter from Channel 7 who also ran the story on television on the 6pm news! (Click the links to view the stories). This has been a great help with raising some awareness, to not only encourage people of an Italian background to join the registry and hopefully find Melissa's match, but it also gave me some leverage when I contacted some local members of government. I've had a positive response from the politicians, I met with Richard Marles yesterday and I'm planning to meet some more after Easter. Richard is keen to help and we are planning to set up some meetings together with some of the key players in Australia to work towards the changes we need! I'm so excited about this because finally at least we can start a discussion to make some system changes at a national level. My ultimate goal is to make sure that there is a supported organisation in Australia (like Ur the Cure), whose sole purpose is to educate, raise awareness and increase donor numbers on the registry, with a particular focus on improving the ethnic/HLA diversity.
I may also have the opportunity to speak with contacts from the New Zealand bone marrow donor registry to gain some insight in the way they promote their registry. Check out their website, you can immediately see that they have a great commitment to promoting the importance of the registry, in particular amongst their indigenous and ethnic communities.
Lots of things happening, I will keep you all updated about how all the upcoming meetings go. In the meantime have a safe and happy easter.