Anthony Nolan has seen a 1,200% increase in Asian people applying to join their life-saving bone marrow register online. The blood cancer charity has revealed that 480 Asian people applied to the bone marrow register online in September and October 2013 compared to 40 Asian people joining the register in the same two month period in 2012.
Anthony Nolan has attributed this huge increase to the awareness raised by the appeal of two year old Gaurav Bains from Tipton in Birmingham. Gaurav was diagnosed with rare blood disorder monosomy 7 syndrome in July this year. His family launched a campaign to recruit new bone marrow donors after being told that a bone marrow transplant is his best chance at survival.
Sunny Bains, Gaurav’s father, says, “The response to Gaurav’s appeal has been overwhelming – people we have never met have been supporting us and raising awareness about his appeal on Facebook and Twitter. More importantly, people have been taking action and signing up as bone marrow donors. This could make a lifesaving difference to Gaurav and so many families out there who are in the same position as us.”
A matching donor is most likely to come from the same ethnic background as a patient in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant. Currently, donors from black, Asian, and ethnic minority backgrounds are under-represented on the bone marrow register.
Bhaveshree Chandegra, Asian Campaign Recruitment Manager at Anthony Nolan, says, “We have seen an incredible reaction to Gaurav’s appeal from the Asian community and would like to thank everyone who has been involved.
“However, Asian patients in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant still have just a 40% chance of finding a match. We urgently need more Asian people to step forward and join the bone marrow register.”
If you are aged 16 to 30, you can help Gaurav by joining the stem cell and bone marrow register.