On Valentine’s Day, eight years ago, the Ana Rukavina Foundation officially started to operate. A little over eight years ago, one letter, and one simple, yet sincere and great desire – “I want life” – gave rise to an idea, a vision that the Foundation has followed for the last eight years.
With a desire for life, but also for a life for all those who were in the same, difficult and precarious situation, our Ana sent a message which became our mission – for there to be as few bald heads as possible!
Prior to the start of the Foundation’s operation, the Croatian Registry of voluntary hematopoietic stem cell donors had a mere 150 members, mostly family members of those who were suffering.
Today, thanks to the hard work of the Foundation, that number has reached almost 47,000 potential donors. We are especially pleased that since the start of the Foundation’s work a total of 44 transplants of stem cells have been performed owing to donors from the Croatian Registry, that is, 44 people have been given a new lease of life.
On Ana’s birthday, March 28, 2007, the Foundation opened the first public cord blood bank “Ana Rukavina” at Clinical Hospital Center Zagreb, and so far, more than ten thousand young mothers have decided to do a noble deed; they donated stem cells from cord blood and thus increased the healing chances of those suffering in Croatia and abroad. We are happy and proud that to date the Croatian Registry has stored 2,832 units of cord blood which have been donated by young mothers and their babies to help those who need it most.
On Valentine’s Day, the day we celebrate love, eight years ago the Ana Rukavina Foundation began to realize Ana’s mission, and with love and joy we will continue to do just that!
We are sincerely grateful to all of you for having been with us all these years, and we would like to thank all of you who have helped the work of the Foundation in any way, especially those of you who have joined the Registry or have donated cord blood stem cells to help those who are suffering.