National bowlers sign up to be bone marrow doners

(From left) National bowlers Bernice Lim, Cherie Tan, Daphne Tan, New Hui Fen, Shayna Ng and Jazreel Tan took time off from the 48th Singapore International Open to register as bone marrow donors.
(From left) National bowlers Bernice Lim, Cherie Tan, Daphne Tan, New Hui Fen, Shayna Ng and Jazreel Tan took time off from the 48th Singapore International Open to register as bone marrow donors.PHOTO: COURTESY OF SINGAPORE BOWLING FEDERATION

It was not just about the strikes for bowlers at the Singapore International Open on Thursday.

They took time off from the competition at Temasek Club to learn about the bone marrow donation process and sign up as donors.

Their registration was in support of Project Tomorrow, an initiative by the Bone Marrow Donor Programme (BMDP).

Six of Singapore's national bowlers - Shayna Ng, Jazreel Tan, Cherie Tan, Daphne Tan, New Hui Fen and Bernice Lim - took cheek swabs, which allows the potential donors' DNA to be profiled with simple markers, before they are entered into the donor database.

Lim, who won the USBC Queens PWBA Tour Stop in Las Vegas last month, said: "It's a very humbling experience to know that a simple donation can potentially save someone else's life and give them a second chance to chase their dreams."

Joey Yeo, who picked up an injury on Wednesday, was unable to join them but registered for a postal kit to be delivered to her home.

Project Tomorrow, which was launched in April, is the largest recruitment campaign launched by the BMDP. It aims to recruit 50,000 new Singaporean donors by 2018, to add to the 62,000 that were on the national register when the campaign was launched.

There is only a one in 20,000 chance for a potential bone marrow recipient to find a matching donor.

Members of the public who wish to sign up as bone marrow donors may request for a postal kit at www.bmdp.org.

The six bowlers will be competing in the Women's Open Masters final, which takes place today and tomorrow. Lim and Ng emerged as the top local bowlers during qualifying with scores of 1,467 and 1,421 pinfalls respectively, placing them in a good position among the 28 local competitors to get a bye into the round two final.

The qualifiers ended late last night. The Men's Open Masters round one final will begin at 9.30am today, while the women's final commences at 3.30pm.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2016, with the headline 'Bowlers sign up for donor programme'. Print Edition | Subscribe