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Thumbnail Remembering Khaleel

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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Miracles do happen with two donor matches found in one week

Last week was a particularly rewarding week in our pursuit to give all blood cancer patients an equal chance to find a lifesaving donor match, with two young cancer patients finding that all important matching donor.

As previously featured, 5-year-old Tommy Simpson from the #Match4Tommy campaign was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in January 2016. Being from a mixed White British and Black Caribbean heritage, Tommy’s chances of finding a suitable donor, like many other mixed heritage patients were sadly very slim (less than 20%).

In the UK, only 3% of donors on the register are from a mixed race background and sadly many lose the battle due to this lack of awareness. Despite the less than positive outlook, an unrelated matched stem cell donor was found for Tommy to the delight of his parents Maxine and Nigel Simpson.

Tommy Simpson
5 year old Tommy Simpson

In our more recent #Match4Khaleel campaign, 12-year-old Khaleel Khan from Telford, West Midlands has been undergoing treatment at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and was desperately in need of a lifesaving transplant. His mixed English and Pakistani heritage left him with an equally difficult chance of finding a donor match.

Khaleel Khan
12 year old Khaleel Khan

In the same week that Tommy found his match, Khaleel’s mother Kelly, posted on Facebook:

“It is the news we have been waiting for. Khaleel has a match. Two matching live donors have been found – one from Germany and one from Canada. They are going ahead with the match from Germany, but will have the one from Canada as a backup. No words can describe how happy we are.”

A team of volunteers led by Gemma Elsmore at Asda Donnington for a donor drive to find a #Match4Khaleel
A team of volunteers led by Gemma Elsmore and Aaliyah Khan at Asda Donnington for a donor drive to find a #Match4Khaleel

Both Tommy and Khaleel’s family have urged the public to continue to come forward and register as a donor so that other patients in need of a match can be helped. If you have not yet signed up to the stem cell and bone marrow register and would like to do so online, you can sign up here today.


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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.

Lilleshall 1OK

 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


khaleel

Race Against Blood Cancer leads the #Match4Khaleel patient appeal

Race Against Blood Cancer is spear heading the rare mixed race bone marrow patient appeal for Khaleel Khan, a young schoolboy who is suffering from leukaemia.

Khaleel, a 12-year-old boy from Telford, West Midlands, is currently undergoing treatment at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and desperately needs a transplant next month. His mixed English and Pakistani heritage is sadly leaving him with a very slim chance of finding a donor match.

This isn’t the first time that Khaleel has to deal with adversity though, as he overcame a number of illnesses as a baby including having a shunt fitted on his brain to relieve water and meningitis, all of which he recovered from. His mum Kelly, 31, is now urging everyone who has not yet signed up to the register to do so. As she told the press “Khaleel is now on week six of the relapse treatment and will need a bone marrow transplant in February.”

khaleel in hospital        Khaleel Family

Initial signs appeared in June 2014 as he started losing his appetite and his glands began swelling on his neck. Thinking it was a throat infection as other kids had had it too, doctors at Shropdoc prescribed him with antibiotics. A few days in, he still wasn’t feeling better.

“On July 6 he was complaining of leg pain, but thankfully he was still under the care of Birmingham Children’s Hospital as he had yearly checks on his shunt. We phoned them and asked if we could bring him to them and they agreed so we took him to their A&E department.”

“He was seen almost immediately and they did the usual checks including a blood test. They knew what they were looking at but needed to confirm it.”

Two hours later, the blood test results were back and confirmed what the doctors feared –  leukaemia. Khaleel immediately started chemotherapy and missed the whole of year five at primary school due to illness. The treatment went well though and he returned to being a young lively boy again a year later as he returned to school. He started secondary school in September 2016 and his family was looking forward to him finishing treatment in November 2017.

Sadly, Khaleel was readmitted to Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital in November last year with a slight temperature, and after a few tests, it appeared that the leukaemia had come back.  “This is going to be a long journey for Khaleel, maybe six months or more. We just don’t know”

Dr. Sarah Lawson, Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s clinical lead for stem cell transplant said: “Stem cell and bone marrow transplants form a crucial part of treatment for a number of blood cancers.

“We know that the chances of finding matching donors for our children and young people from minority ethnic or mixed race backgrounds are under 20 per cent because of a much smaller pool of potential matches.” She continues, “it’s really important that there’s a diverse range of people who are registered to donate some of their blood stem cells and bone marrow.” She added: “Testing is easy and involves a simple mouth swab or people can sign up when they are giving a blood donation, but it could potentially save a life.”

The Race Against Blood Cancer team plans to run several donor drives in the coming weeks to help find a potential lifesaving donor match for Khaleel. If you have not yet signed up to the stem cell and bone marrow register and would like to do so online, you can sign up here.

Source: www.shropshirestar.com/news/health/2017/01/16/mixed-race-bone-marrow-donor-appeal-for-telford-boy-khaleel-121132737


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