Today, five people will begin their search for a stem cell donor, could you buy them a second chance at life this Christmas?
In 2020, we aim to launch a pilot project in the West Midlands to recruit 11,000 new donors – especially those from minority groups – to the stem cell and bone marrow register.
We need your help to make this happen.
The Trustees at the Roger Counter Foundation have generously agreed to match the first £15,000 of donations to the project so any gift you make is doubled.
Please, help Christmas wishes come true.
A number of our supporters have kindly agreed to share their own stories in the hope you feel able to support this year’s appeal:
The Patient’s Story
Kelly explains how important our community work is to families that are seeking a stem cell donor:
“We became involved with Race Against Blood Cancer through a member of the team when my son, Khaleel, relapsed with leukaemia. He needed an urgent stem cell transplant and the charity ran donor drives all over to try to get more people to sign up to the register and find him a match.
The charity makes a huge difference in the community, pretty much everyone locally now knows how important becoming a donor is. People always make a point of telling me how they’ve signed up at one of the donor drives as soon as they realise Khaleel’s my son. It makes me proud to know that he helped the charity to spread the word of the importance of being on the stem cell register.
Sadly Khaleel passed away after his transplant but we continue to work with Race Against Blood Cancer; every year the charity holds a fun day ‘Remembering Khaleel’ it’s always a great turn out and they sign up more new donors to help other patients seeking a match’.
The Donor’s Story
James explains why he’s supporting our appeal for funding this Christmas:
‘Friends of mine started the charity when one of our group was diagnosed with blood cancer, so I jumped at the chance to join the register. A couple of years passed and I was told I was a match for a patient in Australia; I went on to donate my stem cells shortly after.
To me, the work that the charity does is so important, in an ideal world there would be a presence in every community. Having a Community Engagement Manager in the West Midlands will mean an increase in the number of registered donors, resulting in more people across the world being offered the chance of life-saving treatment.”
The Volunteer’s Story
Our volunteer – and stem cell donor – Bex, is urging you to make a donation to support our work:
“My sister was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in 2016. Following her first bone marrow transplant, we became involved with Race Against Blood Cancer and have supported the team since.
Being visible on a local level not only increases support but helps to raise awareness of the charity’s message and ethos. It is essential that we get more people on the donor register – things could have been so different for my sister. Everyone diagnosed with a blood disorder should have an equal chance of survival.”
The Partner’s Story
Our registry partner DKMS explains the impact of having a local presence, and with this much achieved at ad-hoc events, imagine what we could achieve with a full-time Community Engagement Manager:
“From the very beginning, the West Midlands Race Against Blood Cancer representatives have been fundamental in driving the recruitment of donors to the stem cell register, with the volunteer team holding more than 70 events.
The fact that there is a local presence offering awareness, education and support, provides those affected and their families with the knowledge that their community are able to help and want to support them at such a time. This is an enormous boost and cannot be underestimated. The reassurance that such an important message and service is being facilitated by another organisation dedicated to trying to offer patients a second chance at life is a fact that we at DKMS value greatly.”