Saturday, 17 May 2014

Malaysian Stem Cell Registry

Sue Min and I paid a visit to the Malaysian Stem Cell Registry (MSCR) yesterday. Well, there's been a nagging thought on my mind this past few days. I felt guilty having procrastinated on registering as a stem cell donor as I've been meaning to, but just never put the effort into it.

But every since realising that Min Ser very well needs another full match, I felt compelled to register as maybe I may just be someone's full match as well. So I called to come in at 3pm, and Sue Min kindly offered to accompany me as mum was with Min Ser.

I had already called in the morning once Min Ser was admitted into the ward. I called the number provided on the brochure. Initially the receptionist wasn't sure what I was asking for, when she finally mentioned "daftar stem cell donor" and I said "Yes!". I was then asked to hold, and was passed through 2 persons, and the last person gave me another number to call with a direct extension (number at the bottom of this post). I tried calling the number but it was engaged. After the 5th try, someone picked up. As it was a Friday, they were closed from 12 - 2.45pm. So I mentioned I'll come in at 3pm. Operating hours are from 8am - 4pm.

MSCR is at Institute for Medical Research on Japan Pahang, just beside Hospital KL (it's on Waze). The grounds are big, but the road is really narrow, with no empty parking spaces! Sue Min was in the car when I went up.

I was to find the "Bilik Gerakan". Asked the first persons I saw, but they didn't know where it was. Eventually called the number (at the bottom of this post) and was directed to the floor above the "Makmal Haiwan". (Yellow arrow in the pic below indicates roughly where the room is).

Location of the "Bilik Gerakan"

The "Bilik Gerakan"
Goody Bag

The "Bilik Gerakan" is basically just an office. With files and desks. I was asked to fill in a form with my contact information and a 'yes-no' questionnaire (likes the ones you fill in when you donate blood). 10ml of blood was collected, and then done! Pretty fast. As we still had time on our hands, Sue Min thought she might as well register. It seems that even though she has donated before, she is not automatically on the registry. So she went up as I waited in the car for her.

Unfortunately, there is less than 24,000 people on the Malaysian Stem Cell Registry to date. And it seems so far 7 matches were found and arranged.

It takes a month to be on the registry as they are short of staff and the lab takes time to categorise the blood sample.

If you are 18-50 years old, in good health, and reading this, although inconvenient, please do make the time to register. You may never know that you may be able to save someone's life.

Contact Details:

Malaysian Stem Cell Registry
Institute for Medical Research
Jalan Pahang
50588 Kuala Lumpur

03 2616 2581 (Bilik Gerakan)
03 2616 2666 (IMR)

GPS: 3.169633, 101.698809

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