Today, David Cameron spoke in Birmingham about tackling extremism and during the course of his speech he spoke about how “Britain is a beacon for the world” because of it’s diversity.
He said: “Success in Britain is not in spite of our diversity, but because of our diversity” and went on to outline British values, amongst them our belief “in equal rights, regardless of race, sex, sexuality or faith”. He talked about the societal damage that “passive tolerance” creates and the importance of standing up for our values when they come under attack. We must stand up for our values with confidence and pride, he says.
I agree completely. All of that is great and I think it’s wonderful that the Prime Minister sees merit in and wishes to strengthen our multi racial and multi faith democracy. Margot was both mixed race and also a muslim.
However, there is a risk which we know arises as a result of the ever colourful world in which we live. Namely, the disadvantage that those who are mixed race and those from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities face, if they are unlucky enough to have leukaemia.
Because if chemotherapy doesn’t succeed in ridding the patient of this nasty disease, then the fall back treatment is a bone marrow transplant (also known as a stem cell transplant).
Where’s the inequality ?
Only 21% of those patients needing a bone marrow transplant from the BAME or mixed race communities are successful in finding their perfect HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen, a.k.a. tissue type) match.
That compares with 69% success rate for the rest of the country.
Margot was mixed race and unfortunately she fell into the 79% category of people from a mixed race community who fail to find their perfect match.
We need to do more to redress this situation; we CAN begin to tackle the issue by encouraging people with mixed heritage and anyone who is from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities to join the stem cell register.
Please make them aware ! They’ll soon realise, as I did, that it’s in their own interest and that it is also their civic duty & responsibility to register as a stem cell donor to help others in their communities.
Please help by sharing this post with anyone you feel might be able to help. We want to help Elsie and the many others besides who are in need of a bone marrow transplant to find their perfect match.
Together, saving lives
Elsie is bubbly, inquisitive and loves going to the park every day as well as being pushed around on her Trike by her Dad. Like most 2 year olds, Elsie is the centre of her parents universe. However unlike most 2 year olds, she is in a race against time.
Elsie has Myeloid Leukaemia in Down’s Syndrome (MLDS). She was diagnosed in October last year and went into remission in April. However after just a month, Elsie relapsed.
She needs an urgent donation from someone with the same tissue-type as her.
To find out more and register, visit: http://www.deletebloodcancer.org.uk/en/a-match-for-elsie