Karaiskakio Foundation is a nonproﬁt organization initially established with the sole purpose of organizing a volunteer bone marrow donor registry. Today by setting a dynamic vision “for a world without leukemia”, it combines volunteering and specialized scientiﬁc support, in order to serve the needs of patients with haematological malignancies both eﬀectively and eﬃciently.
BONE MARROW DONOR REGISTRY
The Cyprus Bone Marrow Donor Registry, is a member of the international registry (BMDW) giving the opportunity to volunteer donors from Cyprus to help any patient in theworld in need of bone marrow transplantation. The Cyprus Bone Marrow Donor Registry is accredited by theWorld Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) since 2008.
THE CYPRUS ROTARY CORD BLOOD REGISTRY
The Public Rotary Cord Blood Registry was established in 2005 by the Karaiskakio Foundation in collaboration with the Cyprus Ministry of Health, the Cyprus Society funding from ten Cyprus Rotary Club Associations.
The Public Cord Blood Registry operates on a volunteer, non-profit basis as the Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Its sole purpose being the public interest and social responsibility. It collects and stores the cord blood units to be used by patients who are in need of stem cell transplantation and cannot find a matching donor.
With a network of specialized diagnostic laboratories, Karaiskakio Foundation in cooperation with the Center for the Study of Haematological Malignancies (CSHM), fulfill the clinical needs of the patients by providing a complete and integrated approach for the diagnosis of haematological malignancies and related diseases.
Karaiskakio Foundation actively pursues research and innovation aiming to constantly upgrade and expand its services, introduce new technology and knowledge as well as secure financial support through grants, contributing to its continuing development and long-term sustainability.
The Karaiskakio Foundation has received funding under the Norwegian Financial Mechanism in the Programming Period 2009-2014, for upgrading part of its infrastructure, advancement of expertise on the subject, promotion of public awareness and enhancement the bone marrow donor registry in Cyprus. Aiming to improve public health and reduce health inequalities, through the proposed project, the Karaiskakio Foundation has enhanced its local health infrastructure with the establishment of a state-of-the art, specialised Childhood Cancer Diagnostic Laboratory which provides diagnostic support to the paediatric and other cancer patients.
The establishment of the Childhood Cancer Diagnostic Laboratory contributes towards:
• Technological progress in the diagnostic field and better understanding of cancer pathology, improvement of patient health and reduction of health inequalities
• Integrated and comprehensive analysis at the early stage of disease identification and classification, management, and treatment
• Structured, systematic and comprehensive laboratory support to patients, hence minimizing the time needed for diagnosis
• Opportunities to young scientists to excel in the field of cancer, invest in people through education
• Increase Social Awareness on cancer.
A parallel objective of the project is the enhancement of the Bone Marrow Donor Registry with new volunteer donors. The challenge is to find the means to attract and to cultivate the feeling of altruism in young adults, through modern means of communication (e.g., apps, social media, self-service stations, short videos etc).
The project further enhances the collaboration of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot Communities in Cyprus.
The Karaiskakio Foundation is already engaged in bi-communal collaboration through the Cyprus Bone Marrow Donor Registry, the greatest in significance and size bi-communal project since 1974. The Kemal Saracoglu Association (a Turkish Cypriot NGO) actively supports the Karaiskakio Foundation in contacting donors and serves as a contact point to help Turkish Cypriot patients and physicians to access the services of the Foundation. Furthermore, the Karaiskakio Foundation is providing both diagnostic and donor search services free of charge to all leukaemia and cancer patients from both the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot community.