Upon hearing that Imogin was diagnosed with leukaemia, her mother, Sheila could not help but be devastated. Her feelings however were compounded further upon discovering that Imogin’s ethnicity meant that her odds of locating a life saving bone marrow match were an astonishing 1 in 100,000, in contrast to a 1 in 5 chance that she would have if she were white.
Imogin’s story is one that is echoed by many leukaemia sufferers around the country, and yet the solution to overcoming these incredible odds is surprisingly simple; more Black or Minority Ethnics (BME) are needed to sign up to the Anthony Nolan Trust & British Bone Marrow registers. Despite a large campaign coordinated by the ACLT to rally the residents of Croydon to take action, a paltry 42 people managed to register themselves during a drive at Imogin’s infant school last month. This devastating turnout came as a shock to all who had expected the ethnically diverse communities of Croydon to turn out in far greater numbers and increase Imogin’s chance of finding a match.
Beverley De-Gale, co-founder of the ACLT said: “Heartless is the only word I can use to express my feelings on the public turnout for Imogin. It was hoped that hosting the drive at her school would also bring the many parents who had children there to register as donors, but she was let down. Half an hour of their time could have been enough to save her life, but the inaction of the public has severely diminished my faith in human nature”
The UK public was further put to shame by the story of Jasmina Amena, another six year old black girl in New York who needed a bone marrow donor to survive. A similar campaign there saw thousands of BME’s turn out to register in an effort to help her and incredibly, two near perfect matches have already been found to save her life.
The ACLT are now pleading with potential donors to match this effort by stepping forward and taking just half an hour out of their day to attend the registration drive at the Choice FM studios on Saturday 16th May at 30 Leicester Square, London WC2H 7LA, between 11am and 4pm.
SAVE A LIFE, BE A HERO