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.
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 the world in need of bone marrow transplantation. The Cyprus Bone Marrow Donor Registry is accredited by theWorld Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) since 2008.
Bone marrow transplantation is a treatment option for somepeople suﬀering from life-threatening blood or immune system diseases. It can also be a treatment option for a number of hereditary hematological disorders like thalassemia.
BONE MARROW TRANSPLANTATION
Every year thousands of people, including many children, are diagnosed with haematological malignancies such as leukemia, lymphoma and other hereditary hematological disorders. Some of these patients may be treated with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy without the need for any further treatment.
The Cyprus Bone Marrow Donor Registry was created and operates with the aim of facilitating the process of finding matching donors for patients with leukemia or other hematologic malignancies and related diseases. The most appropriate time for a doctor to contact the Karaiskakio Foundation is when the patient’s diagnosis has been verified and it has been decided that at some point in the patient’s treatment there will be a need for bone marrow transplantation.
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.