Anthony Nolan is incredibly proud to partner with the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT), an inspiring charity committed to giving hope to people with blood cancer in need of a stem cell transplant.
For over 24 years, ACLT have registered stem cell donors from a vast range of backgrounds, with a particular focus on African, Caribbean, and black mixed-race communities. To date, ACLT’s mission of ensuring that donors are ready and available for the patients who need them has resulted in thousands of potentially lifesaving sign ups.
Will you be ACLT’s next potential lifesaver?
‘ACLT aims to raise awareness of stem cell donation and register individuals from all races, so whether you are black, white, Asian or mixed race, we would love for you to hit the register button on this page and sign up to become a potential lifesaving stem cell donor.’ ACLT
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN...
ACLT was co-founded by Beverley De-Gale OBE and Orin Lewis OBE in 1996, after they received the devastating news their son Daniel De-Gale, would need a stem cell transplant to cure his Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). Daniel was just six years old at the time.
Daniel touched the hearts of the nation when he later became the first black person in the UK to receive a lifesaving stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor in 1999. He received the transplant after three years of campaigning alongside his parents for new donors to step forward and join the stem cell register.
Daniel’s transplant enabled him to live a happy life alongside his family and friends for several years but, on 8 October 2008, he tragically passed away.
It is the belief of both Beverley and Orin that the lack of matching donors meant that Daniel had to wait too long for his transplant, and later resulted in drastic complications in his health.
Despite their sad and painful loss, Beverley and Orin continue with their lifesaving work by spreading awareness and registering potential donors. Their hope is that their efforts will help to increase the number of people from minority ethnic backgrounds signing up as potential lifesavers and prevent people losing their life due to a matched donor not being available at their time of need.
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HERE ARE THE FACTS
- You can join online! You’ll get a pack in the post for you to do a cheek swab and send back. We’ll test your sample and add your information to the stem cell register.
- You’ll stay on the register until you’re the grand age of 61. If you ever come up as a match for someone with blood cancer, we’ll be in touch.
- We’ll organise the whole thing. We support you at every stage of your donation and arrange everything, from travel to accommodation. We've got it all covered.
- There are two ways you might be asked to donate:
90% of people donate via their bloodstream in a straightforward process called peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) collection. Aaron, who donated via PBSC, said: ‘When you’re actually on the bed donating, it doesn’t feel awkward or painful. It was quite relaxing to be honest, just sitting in the bed. The only thing is, you’re there for four hours – but four hours out of your life, to give someone the chance of life? It’s nothing. It’s more than worth it.’
10% have their stem cells collected via their bone marrow while under general anaesthetic. After Donna’s donation, she said: ‘Bone marrow donating done! I can honestly say it has been an amazing and surprisingly pain-free experience (I am a wimp!). Knowing I’ve given someone a second chance at life is such a fantastic feeling.’
AGED 31+ OR WANT TO SUPPORT IN OTHER WAYS?
If you’ve already signed up to the stem cell register and/or want to support Anthony Nolan further, there are lots of ways you can get invovled with our lifesaving work.
You can also visit ACLT’s website, where you can learn more about the lifesaving impact you can have and other ways you can make a difference.
Without you, there is no cure.