Spinal muscular atrophy patients to benefit through vehicle donation

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 October, 2011, 12:00am


Families involved with the SMA Charitable Trust will receive funding from Operation Santa Claus (OSC) to buy a car that can transport wheelchair-bound spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) patients.

The trust is a charity that serves SMA patients who require intensive care due to their poor physical condition.

OSC is one of Hong Kong's most beloved charity campaigns, embraced by a community that has not only given its money, but has also put its time, effort and heart into making Christmas truly special for thousands of beneficiaries for the past 23 years. Jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK, the initiative has supported more than 100 different charities over the years, sharing hope and funding life-enhancing changes for those most in need.

Mary Yim, fund-raising manager of the trust, was thankful for the generosity of the OSC.

'Currently, we have a second-hand car to transport patients but it is getting really old,' she says. 'Initially we asked for funding to renew the car, but OSC kindly offered to buy us a new one. I think this new car will serve us for at least 10 years. I really want to thank OSC on behalf of all the patients.'

Most of the time, the car will transport patients from their homes to hospital. Patients belonging to the trust are usually very weak and wheelchair-bound, so public transport is not an option for them.

'Our patients need to take oxygen tanks and other equipment with them when they go out to see their doctor. Public transport takes too long as a bottle of oxygen lasts for only a couple of hours, so our patients need to get to their destinations as efficiently as possible. They need a car,' says Yim.

Transportation for wheelchair users is in high demand in Hong Kong, and the car is vital for SMA patients. 'Now Hong Kong has Diamond Cab, which is a service dedicated to wheelchair users but it is always fully booked. By having a car of our own, patients will not miss important medical appointments,' says Yim.

How you can give

Donate: online by credit card at osc.scmp.com, or by filling in a donation form; at ATMs or at any HSBC branch: a/c number 502-676299-001 to SCMP Charities Ltd-Operation Santa Claus; by cheque payable to 'SCMP Charities Ltd-Operation Santa Claus' and mail to: Operation Santa Claus, Morning Post Centre, 22 Dai Fat Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, New Territories, Hong Kong.

Donations of HK$100 or more are tax-deductible. For a tax receipt, send the completed donation form and original bank receipt with name, address and phone number to the address above. Contact us at osc@scmp.com; tel 2680 8159 or visit us online at osc.scmp.com