About Us

Mission Statement:

To create an informed society of individuals who would make a conscious decision to become committed volunteer blood stem cell/marrow donors and be available to donate.


Holding a clear focus, SAMAR’s mission is to facilitate a process of education, tissue typing and donor registry enrollment as a means to ensure that no global citizen is ever denied a lifesaving blood stem cell/marrow transplant solely due to the lack of a genetically specific donor.

About SAMAR:

SAMAR is a 501(c) 3 community-based organization.

SAMAR was founded in 1992 by Mrs. Rafiya Peerbhoy Khan & Mr. Moazzam Ali Khan.

We serve patients who need a blood stem cell/marrow transplant for leukemia, lymphoma, fatal blood disorders, and other conditions requiring a cellular transplant for a cure.

Our focus is ALL patients requiring blood stem cell/marrow transplants from all races and ethnicities.

SAMAR was initially founded to reach out to the severely underrepresented South Asians.  We utilize our knowledge of South Asian culture, religion and diverse backgrounds to provide specialized care. However, that has not limited our ability to work with ALL ethnic and diverse racial groups. Cancer is colorblind.

It is devastating to note that every three minutes someone is expected to be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, or a fatal blood disorder.

Every 9 minutes someone dies of blood cancer/disease.  Together we can take a stand and help these patients to find a cure.

“I WANT TO LIVE, what can you do for me?!” was the anguished cry of a teenager who approached Mrs. Rafiya Khan when she was at MSKCC.  This is what inspired Rafiya Peerbhoy Khan, in 1992, to start thinking about what she could do for that young man and many others like him. As a mother, she put herself in the place of the young boy’s mother. As Rafiya did, every mother would have tried to figure out a way to help that boy find a cure.

In July of 1992, the first major and successful marrow registry drive was held at the TANA conference where 200 volunteer donors were registered. This was an encouraging beginning that would not have occurred had it not been for the support of our volunteers.

This catapulted the efforts and spurred them on to contact various South Asian conferences, conventions, and university clubs. This was the beginning of SAMAR’s long-lasting commitment to patients in need of blood stem cell transplants worldwide.

On August 18th 1995, SAMAR was registered as an official recruitment group with the National Marrow Donor Program. Prior to this, SAMAR worked as volunteers of the New York Blood Center. SAMAR had its first awareness event to promote the mission of the organization. It was attended by the media, officials from the United Nations, and many community leaders. SAMAR initiated a patient and family support group, the first of its kind, where families and patients interacted to seek solace from each other.

In 1996, SAMAR organized its first patient/donor meeting, which had surpassed publicity with print and TV media coverage. Since then, two other such patient/donor meetings along with many other events and functions have been conducted. SAMAR has been honored with numerous awards, citations, and proclamations from community and leading organizations, such as the Outstanding Achievement for Highest Minority Percent of Goal from NMDP. SAMAR was honored with several citations from the civic leaders.

As early as 1994, Rafiya initiated the idea of a national blood stem cell registry in India, as her vision was that there would be an endless availability of blood stem cell donors and cord blood samples for the world. Several sources for financial help were tapped, many top oncologists were contacted and she visited functioning laboratories to suggest upgrades in their work. Today there are five and more official and growing registries in India, which are interconnected with the U.S. registry. It is a pride Peerbhoy Khan takes in her work and achievements.

SAMAR devised and pioneered a variety of effective education methodologies based on cultural sensitivities of this diverse community. SAMAR has the unique distinction of having successfully registered the largest number of South Asians in the world for the Be The Match Registry.

In order to address the needs of all diverse ethnic groups, SAMAR went through a brand refresh in 2017. The logo was modified to include the new motto, “SWAB TO CURE ALL”. 2017 also marked SAMAR’s 25th anniversary. SAMAR has tirelessly served patients worldwide for a quarter of a century.

SAMAR was conceived in adversity, nurtured with compassion, and is engaged in an eternal quest for hope for leukemia patients. Our slogan, “Bring a smile back to life”, is a testament to our enduring commitment to saving lives. Our branding Swab to Cure carries the message of your involvement and commitment to the patients.

In February 2022, SAMAR partnered with DKMS and will follow all rules and regulations for the handling of information according to NMDP and HIPPA policies.

Affiliation: SAMAR CEO is recognized as a DKMS Mission Engagement Advocate.

DKMS encourages any healthy individual between the ages of 18-55 and willing to donate to register as a potential stem cell donor today!  You will be in the registry until the age of 61yrs.

Our age limits allow for the widest spectrum of potential registrants while ensuring the safety of our donors and the effectiveness of the transplant.  In case of extremely limited options, the patients are reliant on any matched donor for a second chance at life.

Please register www.DKMS.org/SAMAR

Reference: (www.DKMS.org ) (www.lls.org )