Proceeds from the sales of the product will enable the organisation to recruit blood stem cell donors, offering the hope of a cure for patients diagnosed with life-threatening blood diseases like leukaemia, sickle cell disease and aplastic anaemia.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, the campaign is being moved from its signature date on the third Friday in September to a new date in November.

"The impact of the lockdown has placed strain on our existing model of recruiting donors and has necessitated that we change operational processes to continue to do the life-saving work we do," said Alana James, CEO of The Sunflower Fund.

"As such, we've had to focus our efforts and resources on counteracting this impact for the benefit of the patients we serve," James adds. "Through the unwavering support of our partners like Pick n Pay, we were able to re-strategise and will bring the 'Sunflower Day' campaign and our signature TOPES to South Africa on a new date in November."

"The sale of TOPES not only provides much-needed funding for The Sunflower Fund, but it also creates crucial awareness in our stores of the need for more stem cell donors," says Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, director of transformation for Pick n Pay.

"We've worked with a local supplier to manufacture the new TOPEs and we are excited for them to land in stores so that we can once again rally support for the hard work The Sunflower Fund does on a daily basis," adds Ackerman-Berman.

Retailing again for just R30 at Pick n Pay stores nationwide, selected independent pharmacies and online via  Zando, the design is inspired by people taking action to bring hope to patients in need of a stem cell transplant.

The TOPE comes in six unisex colours and will go on sale from mid-October.  In addition to the sale of TOPES, the Sunflower Fund is urging all supporters to consider planning a mini-event or fundraiser to commemorate Sunflower Day and help with much-needed fundraising efforts to grow the patient support fund.

Indivisuals are encouraged to pre-order a TOPE, sponsor prizes for the schools' competition or to partner with The Sunflower Fund as a host for a Sunflower Day celebration event.

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