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Race Against Blood Cancer receives significant funding thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery

We’re celebrating after being awarded £20,000 from People’s Postcode Trust to further our engagement work.

It is estimated that there are 2,000 people in the UK awaiting a stem cell transplant with chances of a match varying widely due to a patent’s ethnicity; a white northern European person needing a transplant will have a 69% chance of a stem cell match, while a patient from a black, Asian or minority ethnic group has just a 20% chance of achieving the same. 

While our aim is to ensure that every patient receives the best possible stem cell match, we will be is concentrating efforts in geographical areas with significantly diverse populations.

Over the last three and a half years, we have worked across Staffordshire and London with a small team of volunteers, recruiting potential stem cell donors for the UK-wide stem cell register. This has produced excellent results, with more than 100 patient matches and 14 going on to donate stem cells or bone marrow for a patient in need.

Recognising that this is not enough and tackling the urgent need to sign up potential stem cell donors, we will be using the funding from People’s Postcode Trust to extend our community engagement work; launching a new project to widen the charity’s reach in the West Midlands and raising awareness of the importance of becoming a registered donor – especially for those groups who are underrepresented due to race, ethnicity or gender.

In order to fulfill the brief, we will be working with local communities to recruit potential stem cell donors, as well as raising awareness of the importance of donation for blood cancer patients and the donation process itself.

In response to the funding, Julie Child, General Manager here at Race Against Blood Cancer, said “We are delighted to have received this grant thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, which will enable us to significantly increase the number of potential donors we will be able to add to the stem cell register. By focusing on a number of recruitment areas – including people from ethnic minority communities – we hope that this role will take us closer to our vision; that one day, every blood cancer patient will have an equal chance of a stem cell match, regardless of their ethnicity.

Unfortunately, we are unable to commence the project at present due to coronavirus restrictions. However, we look forward to launching the project as soon as we are able, and are delighted to be working with the People’s Postcode Trust to make our vision a reality.”

As a small charity, we have been hugely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, particularly since our largest awareness and fundraising event yet – Carl Ikeme’s Big Race Against Blood Cancer – has been postponed.  Like many small charities, the catastrophic impact of coronavirus has significantly affected our income over the last few months. Yet we still have important work to do to achieve our vision – that one day, all blood cancer patients will have an equal chance of a best possible stem cell match.

To find out more about supporting Race Against Blood Cancer during this time, contact us on info@raceagainstbloodcancer.com

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