Several universities across London are hosting bone marrow donor recruitment events to address the urgent need for more donors from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Currently, only 60% of transplant recipients receive the best possible match, and this drops dramatically to 20.5% if you’re from a black, Asian or ethnic minority background due to lack of donors from these backgrounds.
Student volunteer group Marrow is trying to improve these statistics through their ‘Tackling Inequalities’ campaign. Marrow is a UK wide group based in over 45 universities which works with blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan to recruit more young donors onto the register.
As part of the campaign St Georges, Kingston, UEL, Westminster, Queen Mary Barts and Kings College London will be hosting events on the 26th February to sign up more students. As students are the perfect age to be a donor and are in general good health, one in five people who go on to donate their stem cells are recruited by these groups at university.
Sign up at one of these university events:
|St George's||SGUL Marrow||10 am - 5pm||Outside Library, St George's University of London, Hunter Level 1, Cramner Terrace, London, SW17 0RE.|
|UEL||UEL Marrow||10am - 4pm||Stratford Campus, University of East London, Water Lane, London, E15 4LZ.|
|Kent||Kent Marrow||11am - 4pm||University of Kent Campus, Giles Lane, CT2 7NY Canterbury|
|Central St. Martins||TBC||10am - 4pm||The Street, 1 Granary Square, London, N1C 4AA|
|Middlesex||Middlesex||10am - 4pm||Middlesex University The Burroughs, London NW4 4BT|
|King's College London||KCL Marrow||5.30pm - 10pm||KCL The Greenwood Theatre, 55 Weston Street, London, SE1 3RA|
|Westminster||Westminster Marrow||10-4pm||Westminster University 115 New Cavendish Street, London W1W 6UW|
|Herts||herts marrow||10am-4.00pm||De Havilland Atrium & The Forum Foyer|
|Brunel||Brunel Marrow||11 - 3pm||
The Atrium Brunel University London
|UCL||UCL Marrow||12 - 3pm||UCLU Building, 25 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AG|
|The Arbour Youth Centre (open to all)||In aid of patient Shahid Muhammed||5 - 8.30pm||100 Shandy Street, London, E1 4ST|
One family currently searching for a match is the Mehta family. Their 10 year old son Dushyant desperately needs a transplant. As Dushyant is of Indian origin, it makes it more difficult to find him a donor, so his family are appealing for students to join the Anthony Nolan bone marrow donor register.
His mother, Kalyani Mehta, 47, from Harrow, said: “We desperately need a donor for Dushyant and we now know there is not currently anyone on any of the world’s registers who is a match for him. This is due to the lack of donors from similar backgrounds”
“We are calling on all students from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds to sign up, not just for Dushyant, but for everyone in need of a lifesaving donor. If you are on the register, you have the chance to save not just the patient, but all their loved ones too.”
Shiv Chande, an Asian donor who was signed up by a Marrow group at University, is also backing the campaign.
Shiv Chande, says “Everyone says it’s such a selfless thing to do, but there is something in it for the donor – you feel great afterwards! The idea that you’ve saved a life is unbelievable; you can’t have a better feeling than that. Not many people get that chance, but I was lucky.”
“I’m a doctor now and I hear more and more about the lack of Asian donors. It’s truly shocking. It’s quite simply just a lack of awareness within these communities. I urge all London students to go to the events and sign up. It’s such a simple thing but means so much.”
Charlotte Connolly, Marrow Programme lead at Anthony Nolan said, “By building and diversifying our register these students are helping Anthony Nolan to provide the best match to even more people with blood cancer. They are saving lives through this vital work by breaking down barriers like the myths surrounding donation in hard to reach communities”
“What many people don’t realise is how is easy it is to join the register. All you have to do is fill out a simple form and spit in a tube. 90% of donations take place via PBSC (peripheral blood stem cell collection). This is an outpatient appointment and is similar to donating blood.”
Join the lifesaving register online by clicking on the button below.