The day, which also celebrates the passing of what would have been Daniel’s 22nd birthday, will encourage people between the ages of 17 to 65 to honour his indelible legacy by following in his footsteps and give hope to those who have none, by registering as blood donors. All the ACLT is asking of anyone is 40 short minutes of their time which could be enough to save someone’s life.
Daniel’s journey began with the devastating news that he had been diagnosed with leukaemia. He touched the hearts of a nation as he overcame incredible odds of 250,000 to 1 to become one of the first black people in the UK to receive a life saving bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor in 1999. Daniel had been in remission, but due to complications with his health he died in October last year.
Despite his relatively young age, Daniel became the spearhead of the ACLT, founded by his parents Beverley De-Gale and Orin Lewis. They worked tirelessly to recruit almost 26,000 black and minority ethnics (BME’s) to the UK bone marrow register during the charity’s 12 year history. Despite this huge success, the odds of a BME finding a life saving match is still a mammoth 1 in 100,000, when the odds are about 1 in 5 if you are white.
The ACLT will host an official blood donation drive at the West End Donation Centre (26 Margaret Street, London W1N 7LB). The drive will also give attendees the opportunity to register as bone marrow donors if they have not done so already. Attendance is by appointment only, so please call 020 8271 6379 to book your place.
Anyone looking for more information about the blood donation drive, the ACLT and leukaemia,
on becoming a bone marrow donor or to make a donation to the charity should visit www.aclt.org, or call 0208 240 4480.