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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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Inspiring young people to fight the cause at the National Citizen Service

Race Against Blood Cancer joins the government backed NCS programme which helps provide students with valuable skills for life.

The National Citizen Service (NCS) is an experience that any 15 to 18 year-old doesn’t want to miss! And with more than 200,000 young people signed up every year, Race Against Blood Cancer and the team were eager to play their part.

So, on Tuesday 5th July, Joe Bates and Alex Morrison traveled to Stoke-on-Trent in the Midlands to deliver the first of a four days’ worth of workshops to those enrolled on to the programme.

Giving young people the chance to embark on exhilarating challenges, make a mark and build skills for work and life, this hugely valuable initiative sees young people across the country effectively volunteer their summer to develop a social action project which can have a positive impact on their community.

Joe and Alex delivered four workshops throughout the day to 80 participants. The workshops raised awareness of different types of blood cancer, treatments available and the need for more donors on the registry – especially people from an ethnic minority and mixed heritage background.

On the day the groups were also taught how to carry out a donor drive, with the hope that many of the young volunteers will run their own donor drives over the summer to support Race Against Blood Cancer’s aim of registering another 3,000 potential lifesaving donors before Christmas.

Alex Morrison, the charities Community Engagement lead said “it was a fantastic day and we spoke with some really motivated and enthusiastic young people.  They were a credit to the staff and we really hope that they can now go away and help us reach our targets.  We will certainly help them in any way we can and I’m excited to deliver more workshops over the coming months”.

Jemma Knight, NCS Coach was equally as pleased with how well the students embraced the day “The young people were really inspired from the workshop, they found the talk interesting and some of the group have already set their sights on running a Donor drive as their social action project. We had a young girl within the group who suffers from a blood condition herself, and she said she felt encouraged throughout and really enjoyed the session”.

If you feel that you or someone you know would like to organise or attend a Race Against Blood Cancer workshop, please contact us at info@raceagainstbloodcancer.com

Joe & Alex preparing for the workshop The RABC team in action Enjoying the workshop Swabfaces at the NCS Workshop Post Workshop Picture


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Promoting #Match4Tommy Campaign at Kids Fest, Shrewsbury

Another busy weekend is lined up for us as we will be heading to Kids Fest in Shrewsbury on 23rd/24th April.

It will be a very busy weekend for our Race Against Blood Cancer engagement team who will be at Shropshire Kids Fest on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th April. With entertainment for kids of all ages, it will be a great opportunity for us to raise awareness for the #Match4Tommy campaign which started when 4 year old Tommy was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in January this year.

Race Against Blood Cancer at Kids Fest

Crowds of over 10,000 people, including children of all ages, are expected over the course of the two day event with many activities to keep the kids busy while the parents and teenagers from ages of 16+ take 5 minutes to sign up as new stem cell and bone marrow donors.

We are still looking for volunteers to join the team, if you are free and would like to help spread the word and have fun, please reach out to ben.westwood@raceagainstbloodcancer.com

You can also help us by spreading the word and posting within your networks. As a recent registrant told us at one of our latest events – “I registered after seeing the RABC posts. Even though I had researched stem cell and cord blood when pregnant I had no idea becoming a donor and finding a match could be done through a simple cheek swab.”

Follow us on social media and stay tuned for news, photos and updates throughout the event!

For ticket information and further details on the event, please visit http://www.shropshirekidsfest.co.uk/


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Croud Putting London Agencies to Test in Shrewsbury

The Midlands put London media agencies to the test this weekend as Croud hosted its first donor drive in its Shrewsbury offices on Saturday morning, marking the start of many future partnerships to come with the agency.

Orchestrating the slickest donor drive event to date, the team at Croud set the bar extremely high and impressed our Engagement Team lead who came back to London with a mind full of ideas for future drives.

Croud’s team boasted energy and support towards the cause from the start of the process and went above and beyond to promote it with posts on their site, regular company wide emails and even managed to secure an interview on BBC Shropshire during rush hour in late January.

As the Race Against Blood Cancer team arrived at the media agency’s offices, they were greeted in the designated check-in area where Croud had set up all the registration forms and was selling refreshments and homemade cakes to raise money for the charity. And to keep the spirits high and friendly, they had also set up a table football and Xbox area to entertain children and those waiting to register!

While the drive only lasted 3.5 hours, they managed to collect a fantastic 63 new donors and over £250 which Croud then agreed to match, increasing the total amount raised to over £500.

This was an amazing effort from an amazing team who showed their determination to help us in the fight against blood cancer from day one. The atmosphere throughout the event was buzzing and we would especially like to thank Angela Pin and Emma Davies who organised the event. We would also like to thank Jon, Sharron and Alice Ditchburn, Jed Brookes-Lewis, Kole Ogundipe, Ryan Powell, James Ratheram, Alice Wilkinson, Ed Jones, Gareth, Mazen Hussain, Chris Haines and last but not least 8 year old Mia Davies who helped on the day registering donors and selling refreshments.

2015 might have been a good year, but 2016 is proving to be even greater! Thank you all for your support.

Croud Volunteer Team

Check In Area

Entertainment Area at Donor Drive

Cheek Swabbing Is Fun at Croud

Families Checking In at Croud

The Amazing Croud Team of Volunteers


Students signing up as stem cell donors at Wolverhampton University

Race Against Blood Cancer heads to the Midlands to gatecrash another Freshers Fair at Wolverhampton University

Race Against Blood Cancer returned to University last week as they attended Wolverhampton University Freshers Fair.

Straight up from London, the Race Against Blood Cancer team travelled to the Midlands and spread the word by visiting both Wolverhampton and Walsall campuses.

In total 48 new bone marrow and stem cell donors were registered. This was a great achievement given that none of the students were aware that Race Against Blood Cancer would be in attendance.

Additional to the number of new donors registered, several people volunteered on the day to help ensure Race Against Blood Cancer has a regular presence throughout the year at suitable events and the university themselves offered to help spread the word further, not least by marketing the charity on their website.

Given the ethnic and culture diversity of the university and the aforementioned support, we’re very excited to establish an ongoing partnership with Wolverhampton University.

On behalf of the Race Against Blood Cancer team, a huge thank you to everyone who supported us in making this drive possible and to those who joined us on the day.

Gatecrashing Wolverhampton University Freshers Fair

Ethnic Girl Signing Up as Stem Cell Donor

Race Against Blood Cancer at Wolverhampton University


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