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Race Against Blood Cancer

Urgent donor appeal for 12-year-old boy of African Caribbean origin

“In March 2015 after Damary’s 9th Birthday I noticed Damary’s lymph nodes behind both his ears were swollen. I took him to the GP and they said it was an infection and he was given antibiotics to take for 7 days. Seven days followed and the swelling was getting worse, and I noticed he was not as active as he used to be. He was losing weight, sleeping a lot and snoring very heavily in his sleep.

The GP referred him to the hospital for a blood test, Ultra Sound, MRI scan. All the tests came back negative and they said they couldn’t find anything wrong with Damary.

As a parent you know when there’s something not right with your child so l demanded that the doctors do further tests for something else. One of the tests they did was a biopsy.  It showed Damary had leukaemia (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia) and that was the beginning of our nightmare.

Damary is a very active child, he loves karate, swimming, athletics and he’s brilliant at playing football and is currently playing for Euro Dagenham F.C, so to be told he had cancer was very devastating!

Doctors had previously said Damary’s treatment for his leukaemia would last three years, so he was due to complete chemotherapy this year.  During the course of his treatment it was a very difficult time for our family but as years went by we were looking forward to the end of him receiving all the toxic drugs which was helping to treat him. It was the best news for Damary and our family when the doctor told him that his treatment would end in July 2018 and he would be free from cancer and would be able to carry on with his life with no restrictions on what he could eat or which activities he could take part in. We had even booked a family holiday to Spain to celebrate the end of his treatment, and scheduled to leave on the 19th August 2018.

In May 2018 Damary’s blood test showed he had fallen out of remission, the leukaemia was returning which was puzzling to the doctors as Damary’s treatment should have been finishing in two months and he’s on the strongest chemotherapy there is for his leukaemia. They have now recently explained to us that Damary needs an urgent bone marrow (stem cell) transplant in order to survive as the cancer came back and it’s more aggressive than before and chemotherapy alone will not work.

Damary has been in hospital now for 5 weeks and during that time he had numerous infections, severe high temperatures and constant headaches.”

12 year old Damary

Damary’s only chance of survival is for us to find him a matching donor. We desperately need more people of African Caribbean heritage to register as potential lifesaving donors to help young boys like Damary.

Whatever your ethnicity take the few minutes needed to register today: www.raceagainstbloodcancer.com/join #Match4Damary


Race Against Blood Cancer

Race Against Blood Cancer finds another donor match!!!

After all of the excitement over the England World Cup match yesterday, the team at Race Against Blood Cancer is even more excited to share our match news with you. One of our donor sign ups has been called to donate to a patient in need of a lifesaving transplant!

Meet Stuart Freeman, the guy who registered with us as a donor a few years ago and has now been called up to become a potential life saver. You can see from these photographs that the fantastic medical staff have been coming out to prepare him for his procedure – even whilst he was at work and sat watching the footy! 😄 ⚽️

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Stuarts procedure will take place this Monday 9th July – watch out for live updates across our Facebook and Twitter channels to hear from the team and Stuart about his donation journey.

We wish Stuart the best of luck tomorrow and hope the process runs smoothly for him. We are also thinking about that special person who is about to receive this priceless gift – the impact Stuart will be having on this patients’ life is impossible to put into words! THANK YOU!

If you would like to become a real life superhero like Stuart, you can register here: www.raceagainstbloodcancer.com/join


Race Against Blood Cancer

Race Against Blood Cancer supports Flagz Mas Band

Last Sunday Race Against Blood Cancer held a donor drive supporting Flagz Mas Band at Wandsworth Arts Fringe in London, where the team worked hard to sign up more potential lifesaving donors to the blood stem cell register.

We would like to thank all those that showed up to register and to the organisers for allowing us to pitch up and engage with the community. We would also like to give a special thanks to the work of our team members Alex Morrison and Lenah Lang who continue to help those people needing lifesaving transplants.

RABC at Flagz Mas Band


Race Against Blood Cancer

Asda shoppers given a helping hand by eager volunteers

Last Saturday we held a community fundraiser at Asda in Donnington, Telford, to raise money for the charity.

Race Against Blood Cancer volunteers and a group of fantastic local young people aged between 6 and 16 gave up their sunny Saturday to help pack shoppers bags and raised over £390 for the charity. Funds raised will help us work to find more lifesaving donors for people needing stem cell transplants.

We would like to say a massive thank you to Asda Donnington – particularly June Walker who helped us organise the bag pack and to the Telford community for their generosity. We would also like to show our appreciation to those who worked hard on the day – Gemma Elsmore, Sarah Elsmore, Gail Fisk, Ayiana Francis, Tia Drummond, Rae Drummond, Marcus Hodson, Aaliyah Khan, Simra Khan, Khakis Khan, Pheobe Morgan-Steele and Austin Round.

Volunteers in Asda Donnington
Three of our volunteers raising funds at Asda in Donnington, Telford

Race Against Blood Cancer

Many potential lifesaving donors signed up at Google offices

Nearly 200 potential lifesaving donors signed up in just two donor drives at Google offices

Last week the Race Against Blood Cancer team popped into the Google offices in London to do another donor drive. After last year’s visit where we signed up over 100 donors, we were kindly invited back to capture any employees who may have been away. It was snowing and cold outside but the feeling inside was far from it as we managed to sign up an additional 65 potential lifesaving donors!

A massive thank you to Sam Smith who organised the event and all of those at Google who took the time to register. We would also like to show our appreciation to our community engagement manager Alex Morrison and volunteer Alex Kiffin who once again were on hand to sign up willing participants!

Alex and some new volunteer donors at Google
Alex Kiffin and some new volunteer donors at Google

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Race Against Blood Cancer visits Telford Town Park for the first donor drive of 2018

Yesterday, on a cold January morning the Race Against Blood Cancer team held their first donor drive of 2018 at the Telford 10K in Telford Town Park, signing up 34 potential life-saving donors.

Donor drive volunteers in Telford
Donor Drive volunteer team in January at Telford Town Park

The team would like to show their appreciation to Telford Athletic Club for allowing us to host a donor drive at the event. We’d also like to say a massive thank you to our community engagement officer Gemma Elsmore and her fab team of volunteers Natalie White, Rebecca Richards, Kayleigh-Jamie Millis, Sarah Elsmore and Danielle Hoyle.

And finally, a big thumbs up to Joe Bates, Tom Sheppard and Andrew Pugh for running and representing the charity!

Remember if you’re organising an event this year and would like us to be involved by hosting a donor drive then please get in touch!


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A donor drive remembering Khaleel

On 29th July 2017, Race Against Blood Cancer helped organise the event “Remembering Khaleel”, in loving memory of Khaleel Khan, a 12-year-old boy, who sadly lost his battle to Leukaemia earlier in the year.

The event took place at The Duke in Telford and ran from 1 PM – 11.30 PM. The event included a number of stalls such as a tombola, a bouncy castle, hook-a-duck and live music acts every hour up until 8PM. As a boy full of love and life, the day’s events were then followed by a karaoke disco in the bar until 11.30 PM.

After such difficult times, seeing Khaleel’s family and friends enjoying the day and help educate others about blood cancer was vert heart-warming. Over 60 people attended the event and helped us raise £738 that will help Race Against Blood Cancer continue its efforts in giving every single blood cancer patient an equal chance.

We would like to give a special thanks to The Duke’s team for allowing us to use their venue for our event, Craig France for supplying the PA system and entertainment and Simon Holding for S.P. Holdings for the lorry trailer.

We would also like to thank all the music acts who dedicated their time to make this event a success and the local business for their raffle donations.

To Sarah Elsmore, Beth Elsmore, Jonathan Pickering, Liane Elsmore, Matthew Elsmore, Stuart Mcglynn, Carrieann Pickering, Jodie Thompson, Lindsey Jones, Louise Hurcomb, Alivia Elsmore, Jamie Sault, Kirsty Vernon, thank you for volunteering on the day and making it a success.

Khaleel’s family were very thankful for all the support the charity had shown as well as the donations and support from the community through Khaleel’s Leukaemia Journey.

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Stall at Remembering Khaleel

 


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Looking for Support at the Lilleshall Monumental Run

On Sunday 2nd April 2017 Race Against Blood Cancer will have several runners taking part in the Lilleshall Monumental 10K run to raise valuable funds to further our cause.

Even more importantly we plan to run a donor drive on the day in aid of the #Match4Khaleel campaign, which is an ongoing pursuit to find a lifesaving stem cell donor match for 12-year-old Khaleel from Telford.

For anyone interested in taking part in the event, it’s worth noting that the course is arguably Shropshire’s most scenic multi-terrain 10K, which is set in a rural village just outside Newport and is now in its 8th year. The course is mainly off road and with the kind permission of private landowners, it takes in woodland and tracks, passing several historic landmarks.

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 If you’re interested in joining our team of runners or would like to come down on the day to help us sign up donors to the stem cell register please email ben.westwood@racagainstbloodcancer.com


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New impressive record set at Teads London office

Media Madness sees our Community Engagement team set a new record at Teads London office.

Teads, a global leader in the video advertising space warmly welcomed our team on Tuesday 6th December. This marked the second drive of Media Madness with the previous record of 97 bone marrow and stem cell donor registrations currently held by Bauer Media.

On the day itself the team registered a willing 60 new donors which was an incredible achievement considering there are only 70 employees in their London office and 65 were in on this particular day.

Despite Bauer Media still topping the Media Madness leaderboard in terms of numbers, Teads set a new record for the per person ratio of those people onsite who came forward to sign up at an impressive 92%. The team at Race Against Blood Cancer couldn’t be any happier with the way the day went, with Teads truly raising the bar in terms of active participation.

A massive thank you to Elle Panes and Jonathan Nash who organised the donor drive for us on the day and did a great job rallying the troops.

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Bauer Media swabbing against blood cancer

Bauer Media hosts our Community Engagement Team for our 20th donor drive of 2016

November 8th marked our 20th donor drive of a busy 2016 where we were warmly welcomed by an enthusiastic team at Bauer Media UK.

As one of Europe’s largest privately-owned media groups, Bauer Media is an entertainment network of iconic, multi-platform brands.

This particular donor drive was a long time coming and is somewhat fitting that in the end the drive kicked off Media Donor Drive Madness! The highly competitive 4th quarter is where we have several media companies lined up to do end of year donor drives, with each company we visit trying to top the leader board with the most donors signed up on the day.

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bauer-media-donor-drive-in-full-swing

A massive thank you goes to Ryan Hawking-Skeggs. Not only was Ryan instrumental in organising the donor drive he took Alex our lead on the day from desk to desk to sign people up to the register.

The team would also like to extend its appreciation to everyone who supported on the day and to an extremely willing audience. As a result of such goodwill Media Donor Drive Madness had a hugely impressive start with 97 new donors registering on the day.


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