A 'Gift of Life' campaign has been organised at the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) to encourage students to enlist as bone marrow donors. A group of final-year students of the Higher Diploma in English for Communication are raising cash and support for the Hong Kong Marrow Match Foundation (HKMMF). Every year, more than 1,000 adults and children in Hong Kong are diagnosed with life-threatening blood diseases such as leukaemia. As part of a course project, Jess Ng Yuan-kam, 23, Sami Chan Sze-mei, 22, Kelvin Cheung Yi-sin and Jonathan Chiu Chung-kit, both 21, will be trying to dispel ignorance about bone marrow transplants and encourage students to take donor blood tests. Mr Cheung said: 'The Gift of Life project means we lend a helping hand in finding suitable donors.' For many people, the only hope for a cure is a bone marrow transplant. Some patients are fortunate enough to find a suitable donor within their families. However, many sufferers have to find a donor outside the family if they hope to have a chance of living a normal life. 'It not only helps leukaemia patients but many others suffering from different diseases,' Ms Chan said. The students said there was widespread misunderstanding and even discrimination concerning bone marrow transplants. Ms Ng said bone marrow donation only came to her attention with the 'Save Little Gordon' campaign. Gordon Wu was a two-year-old Chinese Canadian who was brought to Hong Kong by his parents six years ago to find a suitable Chinese donor. Public response was overwhelming, with thousands rushing to donate blood samples for tissue typing. The success of the campaign helped to establish the foundation as the biggest registry of Chinese donors world-wide. Mr Cheung said he previously was afraid of the blood test for the bone marrow donation. He said donors may experience slight discomfort and tenderness around the site where the marrow was drawn but most returned to their usual routines after a few days. 'We often see leukaemia patients wearing masks. At first, I thought it was because they wanted to avoid infecting us. In fact, the opposite is the case,' Mr Chiu said. 'And the blood test is just as simple as a blood donation.' In the first phase of the campaign, the four students held a charity sale at the New World Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui to generate public awareness about bone marrow donation. On February 10 and February 16- 18, they will hold a flag day at the Kowloon Tong campus along with an exhibition, a seminar and blood tests at CityU. They hope to recruit 200 students to take the blood test and to raise $32,000 for HKMMF.