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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! 😄 ⚽️

2nd Batch_Photo 5A

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


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Race Against Blood Cancer finds donor match

Wednesday 15th November 2017 will go down in Race Against Blood Cancer history as the day that one of the donors that the team registered went on to successfully donate their stem cells in hope of saving the life of a patient in need.

After coming close on no less than 10 other occasions, the team were overjoyed to learn that James Burton had been invited to Harley Street, London, to carry out the important yet simple procedure. What made the news even more special was that James registered at the launch event for the charity in the summer of 2015, where the team held a dinner, dance and golf tournament to announce their arrival as a burgeoning charity with big ambitions.

James had originally been contacted to be a match last year but at the last minute, to his disappointment he was informed that he wasn’t required. This time around everything was smooth sailing. James had a nurse visit him 4 days prior to heading to the clinic, to give him an injection to stimulate the growth of his white cells and travelled to London the day before the procedure.

In the end James harvested his stem cells over the course of two days with the procedure itself painless as expected. For those of you following the live video footage via Facebook, you’ll have seen a very relaxed James occupying himself by playing Football Manager throughout, while being amused by Alex Morrison, our Community Engagement lead.

We would like to say a massive thank you to James – words cannot express how grateful we are to him. We would also like to thank all of those who have donated and continue to support Race Against Blood Cancer, DKMS and the incredible staff on the day at The London Clinic.

Witnessing the life changing impact their efforts have had for a blood cancer patient in need, the team is as motivated as ever to find the next James Burton and have some great plans in place to continue raising awareness of the lack of diversity of those signed up to the donor register and running many more donor drives to find many more matches.

James Burton Donating Donation Process 3 Donation Process James Burton and friends


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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.

Frozen Mascots

Stall at Remembering Khaleel

 


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Race Against Blood Cancer joins the fun at Shropshire Kids Festival

On April 23rd & 24th the Race Against Blood Cancer team joined the thousands of excited children and parents at Shrewsbury Quarry Park for our first appearance at Shropshire Kids Festival.

The basic yet incredibly worthwhile concept is bringing fun activities for under 14’s into one place and with more than 100 activities to get involved in, the festival did not disappoint. From donkey rides, face painting, to an inflatable Helter Skelter, there was something to keep every child entertained and that bought thousands of families together for a fun filled weekend.

Registration team of volunteers at Kids Fest in Shrewsbury
Registration team of volunteers at Kids Fest in Shrewsbury
Slides, pools and games made it Kids Paradise
Slides, pools and games made it Kids Paradise
Parents were really keen to find out how they could help
Parents were really keen to find out how they could help

Race Against Blood Cancer pitched up with a huge gazebo with both an energetic and passionate team. Following the family and children theme, the team was made up of volunteers from both London and local Salopians, parents and kids a like.

The team enjoyed the frequent sunny spells and luckily the less frequent showers. Running around the festival speaking to anyone that would listen, raising awareness and signing up the much needed bone marrow and stem cell donors, the team was in full flow.

In working in partnership with the #match4tommy campaign we hoped for a great turn out and we weren’t disappointed! By the end of the two days and an amazing effort by the whole team, we managed to collect 200 new donors! This was an amazing outcome and an event we all thoroughly enjoyed. The atmosphere was buzzing throughout and we are extremely grateful for the opportunity to attend.

A huge thanks goes to out to Beth Heath, Rachel Davy, Emma Davies, along with all of those who came down and helped out. Lastly and most importantly, thank you to all the kind donors we signed up on the day. We hope you continue to share our hopes and dreams of finding the likes of Tommy and every blood cancer patient a lifesaving donor match.


Race Against Blood Cancer with ACLT at Notting Hill Carnival

Race Against Blood Cancer supports Afro-Caribbean Leukemia Trust at this year’s Notting Hill Carnival

Last weekend among the feathers, dancing and blaring soca music, a team of Race Against Blood Cancer volunteers were in force with the Afro-Caribbean Leukemia Trust (ACLT) raising awareness and registering new stem cell donors at Notting Hill Carnival.

For those not familiar with Notting Hill Carnival, it is an annual event in the streets of west London in the UK that has been running since 1966. The event celebrates the heritage of London’s West Indian residents but has evolved to more widely celebrate London’s diversity and community.

Donors of Afro-Caribbean descent are significantly under-represented on registries around the world, resulting in a challenge for patients of this heritage to find a donor match. Notting Hill Carnival is one of the largest street parties outside of Rio with approximately 1 Million attendees each year, so what better place to find a diverse crowd of potential live savers!

The inspiring team at ACLT partnered with the Metropolitan Police and had 2 tents over the 2-day event where we could direct the revellers and get carnival-goers to sign up. 8 volunteers from Race Against Blood Cancer held awareness signs, donation buckets, engaged and educated the crowd with the ultimate goal of driving stem cell donor sign ups.

Other than being a lot of fun the carnival was a great success, Race Against Blood Cancer helped in achieving a total of 438 stem cell and bone marrow donors. This is a fantastic result and we thank all the volunteers that took to the streets with signs, whistles, and feathers to raise awareness and to help sign up a number of potential life savers.

The Race Against Blood Cancer team looks forward to supporting ACLT next year. We’ll be working on our dance moves until then!

Check out some pics from the event below.

Race Against Blood Cancer with ACLT at Notting Hill CarnivalRace Against Blood Cancer with ACLT at Notting Hill CarnivalRace Against Blood Cancer with ACLT at Notting Hill CarnivalRace Against Blood Cancer with ACLT at Notting Hill CarnivalRace Against Blood Cancer with ACLT at Notting Hill Carnival


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PHD Media raises expectations for Race Against Blood Cancer with record donor drive

On Tuesday 25th in London, the PHD team managed to register the most stem cell donors to the register in any one drive to date.

Despite the soggy weather in the midst of summer, Judy Chan and her team of volunteers were raring to go and focused on the number of people they wanted to get signed up.

Not that it was ever really in doubt given the passion and sheer professionalism of the team but the final count for the day set a new record, for any corporate drive to now try to beat – the team at PHD with support from Alex Morrison and Lucy Baumgartner managed to register 131 new stem cell donors in just 6 hours – 24 more than its sister agency OMD International had valiantly achieved just 6 weeks prior.

Alex and Lucy from Race Against Blood Cancer who were involved in the organisation and present at the event can’t stress enough how wonderful the whole team was and how they all fully embraced the task at hand, keeping the environment friendly, informative, while managing to remain light hearted throughout.

In addition to signing up a significant number of new stem cell donors, many of the volunteers asked to become regular volunteers for Race Against Blood Cancer, with some of them planning to join us at this weekend’s Notting Hill Carnival where Race Against Blood Cancer will be supporting the ACLT.


Race Against Blood Cancer would like to say a massive thank you to everyone at PHD for making us feel so welcome and also give a special shout out to Judy Chan, Catherine Aylward, Jennifer Fuller, Claire Hall, Rebecca Burchnall, Charmaine StJohn, Lucinda Leonard, Victoria Crabb, Rachel Robinson, Shannon Monson, Faye Razzak, Dipesh Pattni, Tom Blaza and Lauren Thompson for their support on the day itself. You were all amazing.

 

We can’t wait to come back next year and here’s hoping to better weather!


Race Against Blood Cancer at Notting Hill Carnival

Race Against Blood Cancer to team up with ACLT at this year’s Notting Hill Carnival

On August Bank holiday weekend, Race Against Blood Cancer is excited to be supporting the ACLT with volunteers to help drive donor registrations at the Notting Hill Carnival.

Race Against Blood Cancer at Notting Hill Carnival

Known as one of the largest street festivals in the world and the biggest in Europe, the carnival has, since its start in 1966, grown to become a real icon of British culture. Originally calling on the British West Indian community the carnival has now become a key date for people from around the world to celebrate, making it a real hub of mixed cultures, ethnicities and fun.

Amid festive crowds, jerk chicken stalls and music stages, Race Against Blood Cancer will be present at the heart of the carnival from 12pm to 5pm on the corner of Lancaster Road and Ladbroke Grove.

ACLT LogoThis will be Race Against Blood Cancer’s first presence at the carnival and we look forward to supporting ACLT in what will hopefully become an annual presence to increase diversity on the donor register and help save lives.

 

If you are passionate, outgoing and keen to help on weekend 30th & 31st, please get in touch with alex.morrison@raceagainstbloodcancer.com who will give you more details.

 


Brixton Splash Donor Registration Drive

Brixton Splash Donor Registration Drive

With it’s explosion of culture and the general good vibes that are associated with Brixton Splash, the Race Against Blood Cancer team is excited to be part of this years celebration and will be on hand to raise awareness of the lack of diversity of the stem cell and bone marrow database and encourage those in attendance to take a few minutes out to register as a potentially life saving donor.

For those who have not experienced this unique festival which takes place on Sunday 2nd August, we really encourage you to come along to see what all the fuss is about. With a focus on supporting local talent with music styles including but not limited to Soul, Pop, Ska and Reggae through to dancehall and roots, along with an abundance of free workshops, activities, arts and crafts, there really is something for everyone.

If you’re in the area please stop by to say hello to the team. We’ll be located on 412 Coldharbour Lane and for anyone who wants to join our team of volunteers on the day it’s not too late. Please email alex.morrison@raceagainstbloodcancer.com for more details.


What can I do to help? You can help save a life in 1 of 4 ways - find out more
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