October 22, 2015

“What’s worse than having leukaemia ?”


image“Being Black and having leukaemia.”

So reads a poster on the wall of the offices of ACLT charity. 

Another reads: 

“All leukaemia patients have the
same chance of finding a donor.

Unless they’re black.”

The same can be said if you’re Asian, minority ethnic or mixed race, like Margot.

cubby hole“Of patients with white northern European genetic heritage, 69% will receive cells which are a 10/10 match. In stark contrast, only 21% of BAME (Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic) patients will find an equivalent match.” Source: Anthony Nolan, Destination Cure Report.

Margot’s mixed heritage meant that it wasn’t possible to find her a perfect match – to give you some context, at the time there were over 23 million people registered on the stem cell and bone marrow registers worldwide.

That’s why Team Margot campaigns to encourage people from ethnic communities and also those who have mixed heritage to join a stem cell register, because when searching for a tissue type match, your race and ethnicity matters.

imageToday, the Home Secretary, Theresa May will apparently say that more must be done to increase the number of ethnic minority officers in police forces, after latest figures reveal that no force has a black and minority ethnic representation in line with the local population and four forces have no black officers at all.

She is underscoring the need for like representation within the police force, which is of course a worthy issue to raise, but when Margot’s auntie Nadia and I go to meet Mark Tami MP later today, who is co-Chair of the Stem Cell Transplantation All Party Parliamentary Group, we’ll be underscoring the vital need for a greater representation of the BAME and mixed heritage communities on the stem cell register and we’ll be seeking the support of MP’s to help achieve it.

Team Margot
Together, saving lives

Husband to Vicki and father to Oscar (2007), Rufus (2008), Digby (2015), Humphrey (2017) & Margot (2012-2014)

Posted in: Journal