In 1991, sixteen-month-old Gordon Wu, a Chinese Canadian, was urgently in need of bone marrow transplantation to treat a serious blood disease. Since no suitable donor could be found within his family or among unrelated donors world-wide, his parents brought him to Hong Kong to launch the "Save Little Gordon" campaign. Since then, the Hong Kong Marrow Match Foundation ("HKMMF") was established. The campaign has raised tremendous public awareness about bone marrow donation and within a few weeks, about 13,000 people registered for bone marrow donation. This was the world’s first all-Chinese bone marrow donor registry.
As at the end of 2020, more than 149,000 people in Hong Kong have registered for voluntary bone marrow donation, and 653 of them have already donated their bone marrow to patients. In addition, the HKBMDR has successfully facilitated matched unrelated haematopoietic stem cells for transplantation for 1196 local and overseas patients.
Starting from 1 September 2005, the HKMMF will focus its effort predominantly on bone marrow transplantation research and public education. It will continue to liaise with international bone marrow registries and assist patients who require bone marrow transplantation. On the same date, the HKMMF will transfer the management of the donor data to the Hong Kong Red Cross ("HKRC"). The latter will also set up a new registry called the Hong Kong Bone Marrow Donor Registry ("HKBMDR"). Both HKMMF and HKRC have appointed the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service ("BTS"), which is operated by the Hospital Authority, as their agent to access and use the donor data in the HKMMF and the HKBMDR. The BTS will perform the bone marrow services previously provided by the HKMMF. These services include managing and operating the HKMMF and HKBMDR, providing tissue typing for both patients and donors, and other related services.