Supported by leading celebrities and aspiring heroes such as Keisha Buchanan (Sugababes), Alesha Dixon (Singer), Micah Richards (Footballer), Alistair Stewart (Newsreader), Colin Salmon (Actor) and Tim Campbell (Apprentice 2006), Gift of Life Week will see a string of activities aiming to raise awareness about leukaemia amongst ethnic minority groups and encourage more people to sign up to the UK Bone Barrow Register.
The ACLT was set up to encourage ethnic minorities and those from mixed race communities to register as bone marrow donors as there are worryingly less than 3% of potential ethnic minority donors on the UK Bone Marrow Register, despite the prevalence of leukaemia amongst these groups. In real life terms the odds of finding a bone marrow match are a staggering 1 in 100,000 if you’re black or mixed race compared to about 1 in 5 if you’re white, underlying the overwhelming odds faced by these young people and many others in the UK suffering from leukaemia.
ACLT patron, Keisha Buchanan of the Sugababes commented: “I first heard about the work of the ACLT through a campaign in 2006 on behalf of 7 year old Keiton Knight, who was diagnosed with leukaemia and urgently needed a bone marrow transplant to survive. The ACLT held numerous awareness events and registration drives in the hope of finding Keiton a life saving matching donor. Sadly, Keiton passed away at the beginning of 2007 because a good enough match was not found in time, however the ACLT was able to recruit hundreds of new potential donors through their tireless campaign. Our hope is that through Keiton and others before and after him, matches will be found for other patients especially these three young people who urgently need to find a bone marrow match.”
The activities during Gift of Life Week will include:
• Registration drives to recruit bone marrow donors for Dean, Yvette and Carena – for a full list of locations visit www.aclt.org
• The launch of the ACLT’s new ad campaign ‘Heroes Wanted’ to encourage more people to come forward, sign up and help save the lives of leukaemia sufferers. The campaign features a range of individuals from different cultures and professions who are all super heroes to depict the message that anyone can be heroic and save another human being’s life
• The ACLT’s annual high profile Gift of Life Ball which will celebrate nine years since the founders of the ACLT’s son, Daniel De-Gale, successfully received a bone marrow transplant as a 12-year-old leukaemia sufferer in 1999. • Gift of Life IX Fundraising Ball is taking place on the 20th Sep 08 at the Hotel Intercontinental, 1 Hamilton Place, Hyde Park Corner, W1J 7QY. • Tickets cost £150 per person, £1,350 for a table of 10 or £2,500 for a platinum table